Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) has denied rumours that government has awarded HDh. Kulhudhuffushi airport project to the company which is carrying out land reclamation work of the project.
In response to a question posed by VNews on Wednesday, regarding the rumours being circulated on social media, MTCC’s CEO Ibrahim Ziyath said government has not held any discussions regarding the airport project with the company.
Ziyath said, despite the controversies surrounding the project, they are proceeding with the bund wall construction without any hindrance from residents of Kulhudhuffushi.
“Despite widespread criticism we are carrying bund wall construction work at a fast pace with the cooperation of Kulhudhuffushi residents.”
He said that land reclamation work will begin on November 12 and will be completed within 180 days.
Ziyath said, because it is a government project, MTCC is carrying out land reclamation work for the lowest price possible. However, he did not give a figure.
An official of Regional Airports said on Tuesday that government will find a contractor for the airport project by the time land reclamation work wraps up.
In march this year, government awarded a USD 57.7 million project to Malaysia’s Gryphon Energy Corporation to build five domestic airports in the Maldives, including Kulhudhuffushi airport. But, the agreement was cancelled in September citing failure to secure funds for the project. Since then, government has not revealed whether the project was awarded to another party.
Government has been under fire over its decision to reclaim Kulhudhuffushi’s mangrove area for the airport.
A government official, who wishes to remain anonymous, revealed that the airport project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was approved against normal procedure.
Although EIAs of development projects are approved by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Kulhudhuffushi airport project's EIA was approved by the environment minister, the official said.
The report highlights that the project could incur severe, irreversible, damages on the environment.