Planning Minister Mohamed Aslam has stated that land will be reclaimed from guesthouse island K.Maafushi to be developed as a resort.
Speaking at a ceremony held at the island to inaugurate the Maafushi reclamation project on Wednesday evening, Minister Aslam said land is reclaimed not only for the purpose of increasing land space on islands but also according to prospective economic opportunities for the islands.
The minister said when the reclamation plans and the concept design for the Maafushi reclamation project were first unveiled, many questioned if the government's motive was to dredge the lagoon of the island to develop a resort. Answering their questions, the minister said while Maafushi is flourishing in local tourism, the island needs to be reclaimed similar to how it is done when developing resorts. This will further advance the local tourism already existing in the island, said the minister.
"We are following a different concept in reclaiming land in Maafushi. We believed it was important to identify and factor in how the economy of the island is shaped. You can see that the concept we have developed for the reclamation of this island is different from the concept we follow in reclaiming other islands. This is closer to the concept we follow in reclaiming land when developing resorts. I was even questioned if we were reclaiming an island or attempting to build another resort. I do not see any reason why Maafushi should not have a resort," said Aslam.
Adding that the administration is reclaiming land in Maldives according to an 'island-style Maldives' concept, Aslam said due to the reclamation designs of the previous government, people of several islands have to go over a revetment to reach the beach area of the islands. However, the current administration aims to enable people to go to the beach and enjoy the sea as normal simply by walking across the beach to reach the water.
"It is usual practice in Maldives for land to be reclaimed adjacent to the island and expanding it. The reclaimed land is protected by a revetment", said Minister Aslam.
Land Reclamation and Shore Protection of K.Maafushi was awarded to Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) on 27th August 2019 by the Ministry of National Planning and Infrastructure for MVR 99,981,373 to be completed in 249 days. This project includes 25 hectares of reclamation and construction of 1100m revetment.