Ameenee Magu Redevelopment Project: Navigating Controversies to Completion

MV+ News Desk | January 9, 2024

The tarring project on Ameenee Magu has reached a conclusion, marking the completion of the project initiated during the administration of former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. The last section of the road that began on December 9 under the current government, the project faced delays due to adverse weather conditions.

In a departure from the past pace, a segment of Ameenee Magu has been completed, according to an official from the Road Development Corporation (RDC). Despite the initial setbacks caused by heavy rain, the tarring for the unfinished section wrapped up in 28 days.

A Brief Timeline of Ameenee Magu Project Agreements

In July 2022, the Planning Ministry announced the transfer of the Ameenee Magu redevelopment project from Male’ City Council to Road Development Corporation (RDC). Redevelopment of Ameenee Magu was first contracted to Male’ City Council for MVR 39 million, however, the project was later awarded to RDC by the Planning Ministry at MVR 84 million. 

The move was justified by concerns about the PPM-dominated council’s ability to meet quality standards. An agreement between the Planning Ministry and RDC was executed under the Male’ Street Scaping Project, encompassing the development of 7.1 kilometers of asphalt road, a storm drain system, and street lights.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Unveiled Concerns

The EIA report for the Ameenee Magu redevelopment project disclosed environmental concerns during September 2022. Approval by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) before finalizing work details raised eyebrows. Public discontent grew as trees were uprooted, prompting the leak of the EIA on Twitter.

Concerns Over Tree Removal and Plantation

In September of 2022, RDC justified tree removal, citing damage to underground utilities. However, the choice of Jacaranda and Neem trees raised further concerns about potential environmental impact. The EIA advised developing a re-vegetation management plan and planting mature trees. RDC’s assurance of relocating trees to a reclaimed island sparked skepticism.

Project Delays Attributed to Lack of Cooperation

In November 2022, RDC cited delays in the Ameenee Magu reconstruction, attributing them to a lack of cooperation from other agencies.

Minister Refutes Skimming Allegations

On February 21st 2023, former Minister Mohamed Aslam denied allegations of workers skimming asphalt off the road, clarifying that they were cleaning above utility junctions. RDC had contracted Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) for asphalt laying.

Project Completion Amidst Controversies

Despite the controversies surrounding the Ameenee Magu redevelopment project, it has now been completed. The challenges faced, from environmental concerns to delays and public dissatisfaction, have marked its journey. The project’s impact on the local community and adherence to environmental regulations will likely continue to be subjects of scrutiny.