A land reclamation project was inaugurated in the guesthouse island, K.Maafushi on Wednesday.
The first island to introduce local tourism in the Maldives, the reclamation of Maafushi is being undertaken to address the issues of overcrowding, lack of land space and small beach area.
The project was inaugurated by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's advisor Mohamed Shihab in a ceremony held in the island on Wednesday evening. It is a presidential pledge of President Solih to increase land space in the island through reclamation.
The 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.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, CEO of MTCC Hassan Shah said the company aims to complete the project ahead of the deadline. Shah said the project could not be immediately implemented when it was contracted to the company back in August as there were some formalities that needed to be completed before commencing the project. This includes the completion of an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and public consultancy, said Shah.
The Minister of Planning & Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam was also in attendance at the function. Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Aslam said the implementation of the project was delayed to conduct the EIA and due to public consultancy. Public consultation was sought as the administration wished to develop the island according to what the people of the island wanted. The minister expressed his confidence that the land reclaimed from Maafushi will substantially contribute to the economy of the country.
This is the first time the current administration is reclaiming land for business purposes. In the past, land was reclaimed for projects such as construction of airports.