Mayor implores gov't to issue land to Male' residents free of charge

Male' City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has called on the government to issue land plots to Male' residents without cost. The Mayor's imploration comes while the Housing Ministry has requested Housing Development Corporation (HDC) to issue 1,000 land plots from Hulhumale' to Male' residents, and while 60 land plots have been put up for bid in Hulhumale' Phase II.

The Mayor said the government discriminates between Male' and islands in issuing land plots as land plots are issued to island residents in the atolls without any cost. If land is reclaimed in Male' City's jurisdiction using the people's tax money, plots are not issued to Male' residents, unlike what is practiced in the atolls, he said.

'If land is reclaimed within the jurisdiction of Male' City, a charge is taken for the land. However, when land within the island's jurisdictions is reclaimed, it is issued to the island residents for free. The government needs to explain what is happening here. There is no reason why Male' residents have to pay [while those in islands do not]. I can understand this if it was fair for both sides,' the Mayor said.

The Mayor noted that several families in Male' live in dire conditions for years on end due to lack of proper housing solutions. He said that forcing such families to purchase land is unjust and unacceptable. He called on the government to establish a fair system for the country's citizens.

'What they need to do now is simply issue land plots for free. They can give away the lands for free and try other ways to recover the worth of the land, maybe similar to how they are doing it now by selling land to the rich for high prices from the beachfront. Please do not try to get this amount from the despaired people,' Muizzu said.

Muizzu further said while President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih announced in his presidential address that 5,000 land plots would be issued to Male' residents, no such discussions have taken place with the City Council. While the City Council is in charge of the day-to-day affairs of Male' residents, he believes discussions regarding the housing issues faced by Male' residents must be discussed with the council, said the Mayor. He added that the City Council had sent letters to President Solih and Housing Minister Mohamed Aslam requesting meetings to discuss the matter.