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Title: Environmental impact assessment : Tower C of Amin Avenue, Hulhumale’
Authors: Zuhair, Mohamed
Shakir, Ibrahim
Keywords: Building construction
Multi-storey buildings
Legislative and regulatory considerations
Existing physical and biological environment
Existing structural environment
Existing socio-economic environment
Constructional impacts
Operational impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental monitoring
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: Jan-2016
Citation: Zuhair, M. & Shakir, I. (2016). Environmental impact assessment : Tower C of Amin Avenue, Hulhumale’. Male': Maldives
Abstract: This Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report has been prepared for the development of Tower C, which is the third block to be developed as part of the 3 mixed-use residential and commercial complexes of Amin Avenue to be developed in Hulhumale’ by Amin Construction Pvt. Ltd.. The proposed Tower C development will be undertaken in a separate 14 storey building in the land plot N2-23 in Neighborhood 2. Upon completion of Tower C, the complex will have 72 apartments. The Ground and First Floors of the complex will be developed for commercial plots, parking lots and access ways, similar to Tower A and B. This EIA is prepared as per the Terms of Reference (TOR) approved by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on 16 December 2015. It is a legal requirement under the Amended EIA Regulation to prepare and approve EIAs for commercial, economic and development projects enlisted in Schedule D. Environmental clearance is obtained through approval of the EIA and issuance of EIA Decision Statement from EPA. The Tower C of Amin Avenue will be developed in Neighborhood 2 of Hulhumale’ in the land plot N2-23, which is located at 4°12'49.14"N / 73°32'25.66"E. The total land area of N2- 23 is 19,779ft2. The plot is located on the southern side of the proposed park located in the central parts of Hulhumale’. In order to understand existing environmental conditions of the proposed Tower C plot, assessments have been undertaken including noise levels, traffic flow and volume, ecological and structural assessments, groundwater and soil assessments. As Tower C is located within the overall Amin Avenue development boundary, comparison of some of the data collected for the EIA for Towers A and B with EIA for Tower C has been undertaken. Similar to the previous assessments, the highest noise levels recorded were from the northern side of the land plot having 76dB and 78dB. However, readings for the same locations during the previous assessment showed 69dB and 67dB, hence there is an increase in the noise levels of the surrounding environment. This is primarily attributed to the ongoing construction works at Towers A and B as well as other nearby sites. The average noise levels recorded on the southern sides were also increased from 62dB (previous) to 66dB (new) and from 61dB (previous) to 68dB (new). The increased noise levels on the southern side were also attributed to the ongoing construction activities for the development of Towers A and B. Generally, the traffic volume was observed to have decreased from the previous survey. This is probably due to the time where the data was collected and the period in which the data was collected where it was school holidays, hence there is a general reduction in the traffic volume of the surrounding environment. However, volume of pickups and trucks has increased from 7 to 8 and from 5 to 6 in the recent survey. There is no vegetation found within the plot allocated for Tower C development. Hence, there are no issues with vegetation clearance as part of the proposed development. A soil pit was dug within the land plot allocated for Tower C development, which indicate that generally there are no soil layers. The soil profiles show that up to the water level, only reclaimed sand exists. As there is no vegetation found within the site, the topsoil also does not have any humus content. A groundwater analysis was carried out for the Tower C location from MWSC laboratories, which indicated that the groundwater found within the site contains average levels of nitrates having 20.5mg/l. Phosphate levels found were 0.05mg/l and sulphide levels were less than 5 miccrograms/l. The salinity level was only 0.44ppt. However, high levels of dissolved solids having 451mg/l and turbidity level of 4.52NTU was found in the groundwater. Also, high levels of faecal coliforms having 308CFU were found from the groundwater at the site. Currently some social housing units and flats are found within the vicinity of the project sites which are observed to be quite new and in good condition. No physical damages have been observed from these buildings. These buildings are found on the eastern side of the Tower C plot and the overall development area. Condition of the roads around the proposed project site is observed to be in good condition. No cracks or physical damages are observed on the roads. 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 household waste and increased traffic within and around areas. As part of the proposed project, a number of mitigation measures have been proposed in the EIA Report including using corrugated sheets supported by iron beams as a safety measure for protecting the excavated area for foundation, dewatering will be undertaken in opens spaces in Hulhumale to reduce loss of ground water, while preparing the site ready for construction, measures such as installation of safety and dust protection nets, appropriate signage will be placed to make aware people on the development. Also, important mitigation measures that will be implemented include complete elimination of waste disposal during construction and operation stages of the development into the project boundaries as well as promotion of a greener lifestyle have identified important aspects of the proposed development. The overall environmental performance will be monitored by an environmental monitoring framework that will be implemented as part of the proposed development of Tower C of Amin Avenue. 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 housing stress, it is concluded that the project should go ahead as planned.
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