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Title: Environmental impact assessment proposed mixed use residential complexes in Hulhumale’ hiyaa vehi project
Authors: Zuhair, Mohamed
Shakir, Ibrahim
Keywords: Study area
Project description
Regulatory framework
Existing environment
Environmental impacts
Mitigation measures
Stakeholder consultations
Environmental monitoring
Issue Date: Oct-2017
Citation: Zuhair, M. & Shakir, I. (2017). Environmental impact assessment proposed mixed use residential complexes in Hulhumale’ hiyaa vehi project. Male': Maldives
Abstract: i) AMIN Construction Pvt. Ltd. proposes to develop 3 Real Estate Complexes for mixeduse residential and commercial purposes in Hulhumale’ known as Hiyaa Vehi Project. The project will be undertaken in 3 land plots (C2-1; C2-2; C2-3) located on Moonimaa Magu and Reethigas Magu. The complex in each land plot will comprise of two residential blocks with a common ground and first floor. The first block (Block A) in each complex will be 13-storey and the second block (Block B) will be 14-storey. The land area of the plots are C2-1 (25,487.52ft2 / 2,367.87m2), C2-2 (27,543.31ft2 / 2,558.86m2) and C2-3 (27,282.07ft2 / 2,534.59m2). Each complex will be developed in a floor area of 14,962ft2 (1,390m2) and the remaining areas will be left as open space. ii) Upon completion of the proposed project, Block A will have 62 apartments and Block B will have 72 apartments in each complex. Hence the total residential use units will be 402 in the three complexes. The Ground Floor and First Floors of the three complexes will be developed as commercial, parking and access ways. A total of 33 car parking slots and over 500 motorcycle parking slots together with some commercial units will be developed in each complex in ground and first floors. iii) The sites will be excavated to a depth of 2.5m to lay the foundations. The entire boundary will be shored with corrugated sheets supported by iron beams as a safety measure while preparing the site ready for construction. The buildings will be developed separately. Each building will rest on a raft foundation. MWSC and STELCO utility services based in Hulhumale’ will be used for all construction and operation purposes. Dewatering will be primarily done on the open areas nearby, hence, no groundwater will be lost from the proposed development. Excavated material will be transported to designated areas in Hulhumale’ 2. iv) The EIA has been prepared as per the EIA Regulations 2012 developed directly under the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act and identifies that development of such buildings exceeding 31m in height and over 10 storeys with greater than 5ft foundation require an EIA to be undertaken and approved by EPA before commencement of construction. Terms of Reference for the EIA was approved by 19 September 2017. v) In addition to Environmental Protection and Preservation Act, EIA Regulations, the project has to comply with Dewatering Regulation, Waste Management Regulation, Hulhumale’ Planning and Building Construction Regulation: Neighborhood 2 and 3, Land Act as well as comply with Maldives National Building Code recommendations. vi) In order to understand existing environmental conditions of the proposed project area, assessments have been undertaken including ambient noise levels, traffic volume and movement, groundwater quality, soil and vegetation, physical condition of the roads. vii) The proposed project will be undertaken in 3 land plots C2-1; C2-2; C2-3. C2-1 is located at 4°13'16.84"N / 73°32'26.01"E. C2-2 is located at 4°13'14.65"N / 73°32'25.79"E and C2-3 is located at 4°13'12.57"N / 73°32'25.59"E. All land plots are located on Moonimaa Magu and Reethigas Magu. viii) The highest noise level was recorded at Site 1 located on the southern side of the project site having 51dB. This is relatively low noise levels compared to other areas due to low traffic and minimal activities that are currently happening in the area. Occasional traffic found on the southern side of the project area raises noise level to a certain degree. Site 2 which is located in the middle of the plots had lesser noise (45dB) as no major activities are happening in the area. Site 3 located on the northern side of the plots had slightly increased noise (49dB) which is attributed to some temporary work happening in the plots. Site 4 located on the western side had the lowest level (43dB) as there are no major activities currently happening in the area. ix) The highest traffic along the road recorded was from motorcycles having 28 during the hourly period. The second highest traffic volume is from cars, mainly taxis having an hourly movement of 12 at the time of the assessment. Some movement of trucks and lorries were seen mainly coming and going out of construction sites. x) The general condition of the soil indicates that upper layers of the soil profile contains medium to dense coral sand with varying depths of loose sand below 2m. Groundwater is found at a depth of 1.4m. xi) The groundwater condition at the site is normal with no peculiar condition of parameters tested, except that some 1 MPN/100ml of Faecal Coliform counts have been recorded from C2-1. However, this is not a serious level. All other sites had 0 Coliform Counts. xii) There are no vegetation found inside the project boundary. However, some mixed mature vegetation are found by the roadside which is out of the proposed project boundary. Hence, there is no requirement for removing these vegetation and there will be no major impacts on these vegetation. xiii) There are currently no buildings adjacent to the proposed plot or the immediate surrounding area, however, some buildings similar to the proposed project is planned to be undertaken within the vicinity. C2-4, which is the southern plot (not part of the project) is getting ready for construction. Also, about 75m southwest of the proposed project, a site is getting ready for construction. xiv) The road condition by the project site namely Reethigas Magu and Moonima Magu are in good condition. No damages and cracks have been observed. xv) The environmental impacts that may be associated with the proposed project are predicted and assumed in the EIA Report. These environmental impacts are divided into construction phase and operation phase environmental impacts. Most of the construction phase environmental impacts are believed to occur from excavation, dewatering, construction activities, operation of construction machinery and vehicles and construction waste disposal. The main environmental impacts believed to occur during operation phase of the project include domestic waste and increased traffic within and around areas. xvi) With appropriate environmental management and mitigation measures as well as conformity to all the legal and regulatory requirements as outlined in the EIA Report, the project is believed to control or minimize most of the environmental and social impacts both during construction and operation phases of the development. Important considerations with regards to mitigating environmental impacts include closing the boundary of the project area, placing safety and dust nets around the building, regularly transporting construction waste and avoiding material transport during peak traffic hours as well as designating proper time periods for construction works have been identified. xvii) Unlike short-term environmental impacts from the proposed development, it has longterm beneficial social and economic impacts, which is believed to tremendously contribute to the overall socio-economic development of Hulhumale’ that can be sustained for over longer periods. xviii) Although during construction of the project, negative environmental impacts from construction activities have been envisaged, with appropriate environmental management and mitigation measures, these impacts will be reduced to a considerable level. Also, with positive socio-economic outlook of the project and considering the overall importance of such a development in Hulhumale’ to alleviate social housing stress, it is concluded that the project is an important project that can be implemented for the benefit of social and economic development.
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