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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has requested the Addu City Council to provide details on its work to develop a beach on the southern side of Hithadhoo, after receiving reports of trees being cut down in the area.
In a letter addressed to Mayor of Addu City Ali Nizar, EPA stated that it has received information that environmental damages have been inflicted on the development site. EPA stated that it received complaints of workers cutting down trees and digging in the area without the authorisation of the agency and that it requested the council to provide information on the work as soon as possible.
Speaking to PSM News, Mayor Nizar said the work to develop a beach on the southern side of Hithadhoo will not damage the environment and that the project has been handed over to a non-governmental organisation (NGO). He said the council has not received any information on trees being cut down in the area, but that the work will include leveling the ground. However, an official of EPA said that a large number of palm trees have been cut down in the area.
Parties planning to conduct any development project in the Maldives are required to conduct an environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the project site and submit the report to EPA for approval before beginning fieldwork. However, Addu Council Island has not sought approval from EPA before beginning the development of the beach.