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Solih administration marks first 2 years with 123 finished projects

Fathmath Shaahunaz
17 November 2020, MVT 15:24
Coastal protection project at N.Foddhoo. PHOTO/MTCC
Fathmath Shaahunaz
17 November 2020, MVT 15:24

The incumbent administration rang in the beginning of its third year on Tuesday with total 123 projects completed, according to statistics publicised by the President's Office.

November 17 marks two years since President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was sworn into office in 2018, following a landslide win against his predecessor Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

According to the President's Office, the majority of projects completed over the past two years were within the field of sports with 78 projects, followed by harbour development and health.

Projects completed till date in the Solih administration

- Sports: 78

- Harbour Development: 11

- Health: 9

- Construction of COVID-19 quarantine facilities: 7

- Upgrading of mosques: 5

- Coastal protection: 3

- Education: 3

- Social Services: 2

- Rehabilitation: 2

- Installation of street lights: 1

- Airport development: 1

- Waste management: 1

The statistics show that 181 projects are currently ongoing, while 64 have been tendered and 90 awarded. The designing of 18 more projects have also been awarded to contractors.

The number of projects in the pre-tendering phase are presently 138.

Meanwhile, the government has put 52 of projects planned over the past two years on hold, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These include establishment of sewerage systems, housing, mosque upgrades, airport development and sports-related projects.

As the incumbent administration led by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) hailed the two-year mark as a success, the opposition coalition of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC) recently slammed the "failed" government for "working opposed to the pledges made" to the Maldivian people. The opposition coalition stated that they would grade the administration's work so far as an 'F', which the government has brushed aside, with Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail claiming that the opposition's statement consisted of hyperbole rooted in political propaganda.

Although a number of endeavours by the current government has been recognised by international bodies such as renewed efforts towards democratic principles and reform, the administration continues to face deep criticism over delays to uphold certain pledges.

Notable among them is the vow to develop 25,000 housing units over its first term, although the government has not initiated any such projects. In response to concerns, Economic Minister Fayyaz told Mihaaru on Tuesday that the administration will roll out social housing plans over the coming three years, assuring there was "quite some guarantee" that the pledge would be achieved.

Environmental NGOs and activists have also slammed the government over failure to deliver on the promises made during the presidential campaign. Although the current administration maintains its pledge to stand at the forefront of tackling climate change and transition towards a decentralised system, several have expressed discontent over continued investment in centralised and environmentally destructive projects.