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News / LGA

Uninhabited islands for councils' development projects

Mohamed Rehan
06 December 2023, MVT 17:50
Minister of Local Government Adam Shareef-- Photo: President's Office
Mohamed Rehan
06 December 2023, MVT 17:50

The government has decided to extend the opportunity for island council authorities to acquire neighboring uninhabited islands for developmental projects.

Uninhabited islands within a 700-meter radius of local islands fall within the jurisdiction of the respective inhabited island council authority.

Additionally, some uninhabited islands have been included within the jurisdiction of their nearest neighboring residential island, despite laying outside of a 700-meter radius.

However, the lack of utilization of such uninhabited islands by the council authorities which holds their jurisdiction is a prevailing concern for the central government.

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has announced the decision to enforce the authority of local councils by bringing neighboring uninhabited islands and lagoons under their direct mandate and jurisdiction.

President Muizzu revealed that council authorities would be extended the opportunity to submit proposals to acquire such uninhabited islands for developmental initiatives that align with the national development plan.

However, the President noted that in such cases, any island can claim proprietorship of an uninhabited island within its jurisdiction after acquiring consent from all the neighboring residential islands, which would have equal jurisdiction to the same uninhabited island, provided that it falls within their jurisdiction. President Muizzu said that this would be achieved through an agreement between the central government and the councils.

He also emphasized that the decision would boost development across the Maldives and extend direct economic benefits to the islands.