Environment Society & Culture

Hulhudhuffaaru: Population 1,500, only 57 OK to uproot trees

It has been revealed that only 57 of R. Hulhudhuffaaru’s 1,500 residents have given their consent to uprooting the trees on the island for the State’s road development project.

President of Hulhudhuffaaru Council, Mohamed Ibrahim reported to ‘Sun’ this Wednesday that the council held an open meeting for all residents following Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure’s request to carry out an assessment to gauge the receptiveness of the residents to the planned road development project.

57 residents attended the meeting, and a poll was taken on two issues from among the 57 residents.

The two issues were:

  • Whether trees should be cleared from the roads
  • Whether the roads should be developed with asphalt or left as it is

Mohamed Ibrahim reports that all 57 residents voted in favour of clearing the trees from the roads, and 35 voted in favour of developing the roads with asphalt while the remaining voters voted in favour of keeping the roads as it is.

He said the results of the poll has been shared with the Ministry of National Planning and Infrastructure, and that a final decision on whether or not to proceed with the project will be made by the ministry.

“We have delivered the answer of the residents to the ministry as per its request to assess what they want. This is not a project by the council. This is a project by the government,” he said.

“Though the council has relayed the answer to the ministry. The final decision will be made by the ministry. And it’s the ministry which will seek the approval of EPA for projects such as this, not the council,” said Mohamed Ibrahim.

Some of the residents have expressed concern the 57 residents who partook in the poll is too low a turnout to sufficiently represent the entire population of Hulhudhuffaaru.

“The population of the island is over 1,500. So how can something be decided based on the consensus of some 50 people? The results sent to the ministry must be the decision of more people than this,” said one concerned resident.

ROAD DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

The government plans on developing the main road, and four additional roads in Hulhudhuffaaru with asphalt. The council has shared the number of trees on each on these roads with ‘Sun’.

  • Boduthakurufaanu Magu: 383 trees
  • Majeedhee Magu: 16 trees
  • Ameenee Magu: 130 trees
  • Jameel Magu: 24 trees
  • Iskandhar Magu: no trees

Mohamed Rasheed reports that if the government decided to proceed with the road development project, the trees removed from the roads will not be shipped out of the island, but replanted in other locations at the island.

“Not to uproot and destroy them, but to replant the palms and trees at other locations within the island. We don’t plan of shipping the trees out of the island,” he said.

The Boduthakurufaanu Magu of Hulhudhuffaaru is a scenic location filled with coconut palms and large trees. Many objects to clearing the trees for fear it will destroy the natural beauty of the island.

Full details are available at the link below:

Source URL: Sun.mv

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