No changes to be brought to current design of 'Hiyaa' flats

No changes will be brought to the current design of the flats being buiilt in Hulhumale' Phase II under the 'Hiyaa' housing project, the government has announced.

The former government awarded the project to construct 6860 flats under the project to China State Construction Engineering Corporation. However, with complaints of the flats being too cramped, the current government initiated efforts to bring changes to the design of the apartments to make them more spacious.

Housing Development Corporation (HDC) earlier said the two bedroom flats will be converted into three bedroom flats. The change would result in the number of flats available decreasing to 3,588.

However, Managing Director of HDC, Suhail Ahmed Tuesday said HDC has decided against bringing any changes to the current design of the apartments, as the planned renovation included tearing down walls to bring the design changes, which would be an expensive process.

"Therefore, it has been decided not to bring changes to the design. We are hoping to complete the flats by the third quarter [of next year]. However, it is difficult to give an exact date", said Suhail.

The project was handed over to China's CCC by HDC on July 20, 2016. The practical work of the project commenced on December 20, 2017.

While the government claims there are several issues with the flats under construction, providing efficient lift services in the towers will be challenging due to its design, HDC has previously said. However, not much changes can be brought to address the issue and installation of more lifts are not possible due to the structure of the building, HDC said.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had earlier stated that the rent of apartments reach MVR 11,000 per month due to the expenditure incurred for the project. However, the government is working on decreasing the rent to MVR 6000 with the provision of government subsidies.