EPA Pursues Legal Action to Recover Afcons’ Unpaid Fines for Damaging Villimalé Reef
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to take Afcons Infrastructure to court over the failure of the company to pay the fine due for the damages caused by the company’s ‘Yuvraj’ platform to the Villimalé reef during the construction of the Thilamalé Bridge.
EPA Director General Ibrahim Naeem confirmed that Afcons had not paid MVR 69.4 million to the agency and that the case will now be taken up at court.
“The fine has not been paid yet. So we are working to take the case to court,” Naeem said.
The platform ran aground in August 2022 due to a problem with its anchoring of platform. When the platform recovered 12 days after the reef collision, gaps of 10 feet were observed in the reef.
Upon investigation, the EPA fined the company MVR 69.4 million. However, the company then appealed to the then Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology for relief with minister Aiminath Shauna, decided not to intervene.
Afcons had also applied for an interim injunction in the Civil Court seeking a stay on the fine, arguing that the platform damaged the reef due to ocean conditions beyond their control and not due to negligence. However, the Civil Court decided not to issue an interim order.
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