Housing Development Corporation (HDC) has formulated and implemented a policy to address the issue of abandoned vessels in the Thilafushi and Gulhifalhu lagoons. HDC noted that the vessels anchored in the lagoon have become a hindrance in their development projects and are also an environmental threat to the lagoon.
The policy consists of steps to determine abandoned vessels, actions to be taken for the abandoned vessels, and the removal of vessels causing environmental damage to the lagoon. HDC will identify the owners of the vessels and will be giving them a period of 7-30 days to clear the vessels from the area. If the vessels are not moved the company will take action to remove the vessels. The policy also states that the company will responsible for damages incurred to the vessel when it transfers. According to the policy, the government has the right to remove or auction all abandoned vessels in the lagoon.
HDC has made several announcements in the past year and has given time frames to remove the abandoned vessels. Notably, last year the company lodge a case with the Civil Court seeking a ruling to ascertain the right to dispose of the vessels. However, the court did not issue a ruling due to the lack of any legal and judicial basis from HDC for such a ruling. The public is advised to contact the corporation’s hotline 1516 if they have any vessels or properties left in the area.