Addu City Mayor Ali Nizar has said that Addu is now a "construction site" as the current administration is implementing many development projects in the city. He added that next year the public will see Addu transform into a new, beautiful city.
The mayor told Mihaaru News during President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's visit to Addu City last week for his campaign for the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) primary to be held this Saturday.
"Next year we will not see this scene, instead we will see the works in progress being completed, transforming the city. A different beauty and charm will be seen in Addu," he said.
The work of laying asphalt on the roads of Addu City has now begun. Therefore, some roads have been closed off while the work is ongoing. Harbour Construction in some islands are also underway.
Nizar said the implementation of the manifesto is closely monitored by Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail. From the Indian Exim Bank loan, money was allocated to Addu first, and the city council has discussed how to utilise the USD 200 million received for development projects in Addu City.
"We said that all the roads in Addu City should be developed. So we funded road development in all the wards of Addu. We believe that we can acquire the amount of land we have asked for. Five islands have to go through the land reclamation process along with shore protection," the Mayor said.
He said that Addu City had had been affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the work progress is not slow considering that.
"By the time the presidential election rolls around, I believe that 70 to 80 percent of the road construction will be completed. Road construction is being delayed due to occasional changes in the design works. Adhering to resident's complaints and changes requested by the council and the ministry has lead to some delays as well. There are changes in the materials used. Everything is imported from abroad. It takes two or three months to get the work started with each change," Nizar said.
He said there was no problem with the Indian company AFCONS, which has undertaken the road development project. Delays arise from the changes requested by the city residents, the council and the ministry, the mayor reiterated.
Nizar noted that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wanted a comprehensive solution for Addu City.
The government has also started land reclamation projects in some islands of Addu City. Ninety hectares of land will be reclaimed from Hithadhoo, 76 hectares from Maradhoo and Maradhoo-Feydhoo and 30 hectares of land will be reclaimed from Hulhudhoo and Meedhoo respectively. Two more islands are also scheduled for land reclamation at a later date. Land reclamation is currently underway in Hithadhoo, Maradhoo and Maradhoo-Feydhoo.
The Mayor said the establishment of water and sewerage systems in Addu City is not a small task but the service has now been launched in almost all the islands.
Nizar said that establishing a sewerage system in Hithadhoo alone, is equivalent to developing a sewerage system in five atolls combined. He said that despite the challenges faced, FENAKA Corporation is undertaking this massive project. "For now, there is no water and sewerage systems established near the hospital area of the city. However, a budget has been created and handed over to FENAKA to establish the [systems],” Nizar said.
"Therefore, we will also construct sewerage systems in places that have been planned for further development. It has been planned to construct sewerage systems in the reclaimed land of Feydhoo as well. Before housing construction begins in the area, we will provide water and sewerage systems, " Nizar said.