Afcons provides assurance bridge platform will be removed in two days

Platform used for Thilamale' Bridge. (Photo /Afcon)

India’s Afcons Infrastructure provided assurance to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday that the self-elevating platform used for the construction of the Thilamale’ Bridge that wrecked on the Vilimale’ reef last week will be removed in two days.

The platform ran aground on the Vilimale’ reef on the afternoon of August 16.

EPA held a meeting with Afcons and Planning Ministry regarding the salvage efforts to remove the platform on Tuesday afternoon.

“It was assured that the salvage operation will be completed within the next two days,” said EPA in a tweet after the meeting.

EPA said it would conduct an assessment of possible damages once salvage efforts were complete.

The meeting comes after local environmental groups including Save the Beach and Villijoali expressed concern over lack of sufficient effort to remove the platform.

In a joint statement on Monday, the groups urged relevant authorities to treat the issue with greater seriousness and find a way to expedite the removal of the platform.

They said the immediate priority should not be to impose fines for damages, but to minimize damage to the reef.

“We believe there are experts in Maldives who can get this done. And we also believe that if a project of this magnitude is being conducted, they must be equipped to get this done,” said the groups.

The environment groups called on authorities to conduct a proper assessment of the damages to the reef, and share the findings with the public.

The delay in removal of the platform also spurred Vilimale’ MP Ahmed Usham to submit an emergency motion to the Parliament.