Would have demolished Hiyaa flats if it were up to me: Minister

Planning Minister Mohamed Aslam has stated that the government previously entertained the idea of demolishing the Hiyaa flats developed in Hulhumale' Phase II.

During Tuesday's Parliament sitting, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam inquired from the minister regarding the Hiyaa flats. Shiyam said while families began moving into the towers only a few short weeks ago, the buildings have already become a hub for criminals and noted that there is no system in place to monitor the area. He inquired from the minister what the government's policy was regarding the matter.

In his response, Minister Aslam said the former government's decision to construct towers in close vicinity was a mistake. When the current administration came into power in 2018, the project had progressed too far, and there was no turning back from that point, Aslam said. This was why the current administration was forced to go along with the project, he explained.

'We [the government] even entertained the idea of demolishing the towers. If the decision were up to me, I would have demolished the flats. Even then, we said the apartments in the tower are similar to pigeonholes. When we started this fact, we received so much backlash. They [the recipients] kept insisting that it did not matter whether the apartments were pigeonholes; they insisted they wanted it. Now the place is ready. Now that the place has been handed over, they speak about other issues that arise due to people moving in and drug issues. They are speaking of what would happen when such a large amount of people are crammed into a small area,' Aslam said.

The minister further said the Hiyaa flats are the result of a wrong decision and that there are not a lot of solutions to the issues currently faced. The only way to address the problem is to station police and catch criminals, he said.

While over 500 families have now moved into the Hiyaa flats, more families are expected to move into the apartments over the next couple of months.