Ameenee Magu streetscaping project underway. Dhauru Photo

STELCO moves court to strike down road work fees

The civic body, however, had not specified it in the public policy that has been implemented.

2 February 2023

By Aishath Fareeha Abdulla

STELCO on Thursday filed a petition in the court seeking quashing of the policy issued by the city council to levy a fee for the public works of the city's roads.

The civic body has formulated a regulation for ground work in public areas in effect from last month.

As per the policy,:

  • If tilling roadside, charged – MVR 25 per foot per day

  • To lift the manhole cover and bury the cable – MVR 300 for each cable junction

  • To remove and relay road pavement stones – MVR 100 per square feet per day

STELCO has said that it has filed a constitutional case in the High Court seeking quashing of the two illegal rules that the Male City Council has implemented in order to increase the price of services provided to the public.

"We have also sought an interim injunction to defer the implementation of the two rules till a final decision is taken on the matter," STELCO said in a statement.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, STELCO Managing Director Ahmed Shareef said that the public company had to bear a lot of hardships due to the change in the rates charged by the civic body for road work. Earlier, it was MVR 31,000. What needs to be spent is now MVR 80,501, he said.

Shareef said that in addition to the tilling fee, the civic body has also increased the fee charged for boards installed on the road. In this context, Shareef said:

  • 154% increase in the amount paid for services earlier 

  • The fee for a roadside board revised from MVR 60 to MVR 200

  • The road block board fee revised from MVR 150 to MVR 300

When asked about the prices in the city council's policy, its spokesperson Mariyam Shiuna said, "These are not high prices and we have started charging fees which were not charged while digging the road earlier because the council's budget has to be used to repair the damage caused by the road work."

However, at a press conference held on Wednesday, STELCO expressed concern over the issue, following which mayor Mohamed Muizzu tweeted that the city council had decided to charge for road work only from work related to the buildings of companies. Muizzu said that there will be no cost for the road tilling to install, connect or repair electric cables and water works for the homes of the common people.

The civic body, however, had not specified it in the public policy that has been implemented.