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Title: Environmental impact assessment proposed 14 storey building construction in MA. Manaage, Male’
Authors: Musthafa, Amir
Keywords: Project description
Description of the existing environment
Legislative and regulatory considerations
Identification of impacts and significance
Environmental management and mitigation measures
Stakeholder consultations
Environmental monitoring
Issue Date: Oct-2015
Citation: Musthafa, A. (2015). Environmental impact assessment proposed 14 storey building construction in MA. Manaage, Male’. Male': Maldives
Abstract: This report is based on the proposed 14 storey building construction at the residence, Ma. Manaage in the capital city, Male’. The project is being developed and constructed by Rainbow Construction Pvt. Ltd. to undertake the construction works and project management including overseeing the EIA process. An Environmental Impact Assessment was necessary for the works outlined in this report as they fall under ‘Jadhuvalu R’ of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2012 of the Maldives. In addition to meeting the regulatory requirements, the report would further assist the proponent and important stakeholders to make decisions based on favourable environmental conditions with the main focus on sustainability. The project also adheres to several other rules and regulations in the Maldives and has obtained permit from the Male’ city council for the project to proceed. The area the project is proposed to be undertaken is a moderately built area in the heart of Male’, more towards the western side. There is no natural terrestrial environment at site, although there are some roadside vegetation in the area. The existing environment therefore was focussed on the regional climate of Male’, and the traffic distribution, and noise pollution in the area. As could be seen from the data, this area does not encourage much traffic relative to the busier roads in Male’. A general exterior overview of the existing structures in the area was also observed. It was found that most of the buildings in the area were in good condition. Older buildings were mostly single storey structures. Therefore, serious structural defects are expected to be at a minimum. However, the report recommends to undertake a structural defects inspection study of the buildings in the same block as the proposed site by civil engineering experts. The overall environmental impacts of the project have been assessed using frameworks found in literature. Since the development is undertaken in a moderately built area, the results indicate that the proposed project has neutral impact. However, there are some significant impacts on the environment during the construction phase of the project and these needs to be mitigated to avoid any significant damage to the environment. Significance of the impacts and mitigation measures have been provided based on previous similar projects undertaken in the Maldivian environment and based on literature. The main cause for concern regarding this project is the impact it will have on neighbours residing in this area. As such, several short-term impacts are envisaged including air pollution, noise pollution, aesthetic impacts, and safety concerns. As there are numerous high storey building projects being undertaken in Male’, there is no particular long term impact associated with this project. One significant impact specific to this project is impact on the roadside vegetation during transportation of machinery and equipment. The impacts that do occur however can be easily mitigated to minimise and/or completely nullify them. The first mitigation measure proposed includes creating awareness among the construction staff and neighbours regarding the scope of the project. Other measures include taking protective measures to ensure people residing and utilising the vicinity will not have to endure the impacts during the construction stage. Foundation protection measures are recommended and are provided as part of the project to prevent impact on neighbouring structures in addition to a 1m offset from the adjacent building. Dewatering procedure also needs to be undertaken with care, details of which are given in the report. Care should also be taken to prevent any damage to the vegetation on the road during transport of machinery and equipment. Alternatives, including the no project option and alternatives for some project components are also discussed. Regarding project design, a few alternatives are recommended for the swimming pool, provide a green area at the terrace, while the pros and cons of making a larger parking area is also discussed. An environmental monitoring program is provided at the end of the report, which provides details on the parameters to monitor on site, and the frequency in which it needs to be done. Estimated costs for the monitoring works are given. Implementation of the program is essential for the sustainable development of the project. In conclusion, it is discussed the impact such major housing projects have for the increasing population density in Male’, and how it can be prevented at a policy level. However, taking this project as a standalone development project in an already heavily built island city, it can be concluded that no significant long-term impacts are predicted. Therefore, it is recommended that the project go ahead as proposed with precautions and mitigation measures in place.
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