Stranded cargo vessel causes damage worth MVR61 million

The government has proposed to obtain MVR61 million as compensation for the damage caused to the reef by the cargo vessel that was stranded at Raalhugandu area on the eastern side of Male’.

Chairman of Transport Authority Abdul Rasheed Nafiz said that the assessment conducted by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) showed that the boat had caused damage to the reef worth MVR61 million, and that the owner of the boat had been given three days to respond.

Nafiz said that no fine had been imposed yet, and that a fine will only be imposed after discussion between the two parties which will be held during the next three days.

Director of EPA Ibrahim Naeem also told Sun Online today that the Liberian 27,000-ton boat named Auguste Schulte has not been fined yet, and that the boat owners have been informed that the damage to the reef caused by the boat is worth MVR61 million. He said that the amount will be finalised after discussion.

Transport Authority earlier said that the government has the authority to impose a fine of MVR85,000 per square meter of damage caused to the reef by the 210 meter long, 30 meter wide boat.

The ship came from the direction of Hulhule’ through Gaadhoo kolu and was stranded in the shallow water when it attempted to make a turn, on 7 January. It was refloated with the assistance of Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) after three hours using two tug boats.

In 2011, a cargo boat was stranded near Shangri La and caused serious damage to the reef. The boat was refloated after one month, and was fined MVR700,000 for every day that it stayed on the reef. The authorities have not said if this money was paid to the government.

Nafiz said that that incident, which happened during the former government, has ‘resurfaced’ following the incident involving Auguste Schulte.