Gov't has stopped the floating city project: Nasheed

Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has said the government has stopped the Maldives Floating City project work.

In a WhatsApp group with senior MDP leaders, the former President said he believed the project was stopped as he was linked to the project.

In his messages, Nasheed said the project was stopped by the Cabinet's Economic Council, in a vote following discussions. Environment Minister Aminath Shauna also voted to stop the project, said Nasheed.

Nasheed described the government's decision as "too much", as it stopped a huge $1 billion investment that the government did not have to spend on.

The Maldives Floating City is a joint venture between the Government of Maldives and Dockland International of the Netherlands.

President Nasheed said that as the government has not provided him with any alternatives to go on with the project, he intended to advise the Dutch company that the floating city project cannot be carried out in the Maldives.

While Nasheed has said the floating city project would not go ahead, a local company, Bison, has been contracted to build a model of one of the 5,000 floating houses designed under the project. The Ministry of Tourism has also formulated policies for charging rent from the floating city.

The Maldives Floating City project was launched by the government of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on March 14 last year. The government has given a 200-hectare lagoon near Aarah to the Dutch Dockland Company to carry out the project.

The environmentally friendly city is designed with both housing and tourism components. In addition to 5,000 land plots, a yacht marina, two five-star resorts, and small picnic islands will be built under the project. A hospital, school, shopping mall, council and government offices will also be built.