The first phase of the construction of Neykurendhoo Jail has been awarded to a contractor.
The contract was awarded to Unique Choice Pvt Ltd at a ceremony held at the Home Ministry on Saturday. The agreement was signed by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs Abdul Rahman Solag Rasheed on behalf of the Ministry, while Unique Choice's Managing Director Riyaz Ali signed on behalf of the company.
The first phase of the Nekurendhoo prison project has been handed over to a contractor ten years after a large plot of land was allocated for the prison. Heavy criticism was aimed at Home Minister Imran Ali by Neykurendhoo residents and the MP for the constituency for not doing any practical work on the jail project.
Speaking at the signing ceremony on Saturday, Minister Imran said the Neykurendhoo jail was an "industrial prison".
"The prison will be operated under the open prism system. It is the most successful system currently being implemented around the world to rehabilitate offenders," he said.
Earlier this month, Minister Imran told the Parliament that the Neykurendhoo Jail project was delayed due to the financial challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the budget allocated for the project was reduced due to the pandemic.
The minister said MVR 10 million was allocated for the project in this year's budget, and an additional MVR 10 million will be allocated next year.
"There has been a lot of work done to complete this project during the current term, with the hope of achieving that target. However, with this budget, it is estimated that only the perimeter wall of the jail and the concept and detail drawing of the jail can be completed by the end of 2023", the minister said.
Imran said the Neykurendhoo Jail project was essential to rehabilitate the prisoners during their time in jail by teaching them various skills and bringing them into society as better people. Imran further said that the Neykurendhoo Prison project is part of the policy of improving the condition of the prisons and reducing congestion.