FSM: Unable to relocate fuel barges in Vilimale’ lagoon as a new location not designated

Managing Director of Fuel Supply Maldives (FSM) Mohamed Gasam.

Managing Director of Fuel Supply Maldives (FSM) Mohamed Gasam has stated that the company has been unable relocate fuel barges docked at Vilimale’ lagoon due to Male’ City Council’s failure to destinate a new location.

Gasam’s remarks comes at a time Vilimale’ Councilor Nahula Ali has called on to relocate FSM’s fuel barges docked at Vilimale’ lagoon as per the notices served by Male’ City Council previously.

In this regard, Nahula stated that the City Council served notices to FSM on multiple occasions throughout last year, instructing the relocation of the company’s fuel barges at Vilimale’ lagoon. However, she stressed that the company has yet to comply with the instructions.

Commenting on the issue, Gasam said that upon being service notice to relocate the fuel barges at Vilimale’ lagoon – the company had requested City Council to designate a new location for the vessels. He added that the Council has not responded to this request as of present.

Stressing that fuel barges cannot be docked in open waters – Gasam said the company would initiate efforts to relocate the vessels as soon as the City Council designates a new location for them.

“Will vacate the premise as soon as a new location is designated. No location has been designated yet. We have informed the City Council on two occasions. That is the issue. This is highly irresponsible,” he had said.

Fuel barges of Fuel Supply Maldives (FSM) docked at Vilimale' lagoon.

Speaking further, Gasam said that the issue has been brought to the attention of the Local Government Authority (LGA) as well, in the capacity of an authority advising City Council.

“The biggest company supply fuel to Maldivian islands is FSM. Especially to all powerhouses in Maldives, and many resorts. We even supply to fuel suppliers operating within atolls. The people that ordered to relocate the fuel barges perhaps may not understand how important fuel is,” he had said.

Underscoring that the company stores fuel in K. Funadhoo – Gasam stressed that a nearby location is required to dock fuel barges therewith.

“We are carrying out a national service. For example, whilst Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) provides bus services in the Male’ area, they have designated parking spaces for their vehicles. Similarly, we should also be provided parking spaces in a manner it does not increase traffic to lagoons,” he had said.

Nahula said that fuel barges being docked at Vilimale’ lagoon has led to two dangerous fire incidents previously. Hence, she called on the relocation of the fuel barges in order to ensue the people and their properties’ safety – describing it utmost important.

“I am requesting the government to relocate the fuel barges to Thilafushi,” she had said.

She also noted receiving daily complaints from other vessels expressing difficulties in entering and exiting Vilimale’ lagoon due to the fuel barges.