Housing ministry feeding pigeons in three areas

The housing ministry has said its staff have been feeding pigeons at three designated locations in Malé after a ban on feeding pigeons at the republic square sparked public outrage.

The ministry posted pictures on its Facebook page today of staff feeding pigeons at the artificial beach, the tsunami monument area, and a park near the southwestern harbour.

Executive coordinator Abdulla Shahid told the state broadcaster that the ministry imposed as a temporary measure while renovation work, including repairing a water fountain and replanting grass, was ongoing at the square.

The government is renovating public spaces in the capital in preparation for the upcoming golden jubilee of independence on July 26.

The ban drew strong criticism on social media after numerous pigeons died of apparent starvation. Hundreds of children and adults gather at the square in late afternoons to feed raw rice to the pigeons.