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Housing Ministry employees submit complaints to ACC

12 October 2018, MVT 16:04
HULHUMALE PHASE 2 REAL ESTATE / LAND APPLICATION FORM QUEUE CONTINUES TO THE NIGHT / NEAR HOUSING MINISTRY
12 October 2018, MVT 16:04

An anonymous group of Housing Ministry employees, on Thursday, sent a letter to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) requesting a halt in the sale of land plots, from the second phase of development in the reclaimed suburb, Hulhumale.

The letter, sent anonymously over reasons pertaining to the sender's employment and security, detailed issues in the manner which Housing Ministry is handling the selection process for eventual owners of the 400 land plots, put up for sale earlier this week.

While the plots measure 1000 square feet, each of them carries a total price of MVR 400,000.

The employees claim that top ministry officials intend to sell the land plots to a pre-determined group of people. Allegedly, most of the people on this list are activists of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and individuals added to the social housing registry after the presidential election.

ACC was requested to halt this illegal activity, even by means of sending a team to investigate the ministry.

The letter states that the opportunity to be included in the social housing registry was made available to a select group of people without any public announcement having been made. Thus far, many of those who have requested to be added to the registry are government officials or PPM activists.

The employees also stated that changes were made to the point system under which land plots are leased or sold. These changes would enable individuals recently added to the social housing registry, to receive equal points to long-term residents of Male, who have lived in the capital for 50 years.

The letter expressed concerns that the sale of land would not solve the housing needs of the citizens that it was meant to fulfil.

In addition to the above complaints, the letter also criticised the graft watchdog for their delay in halting the illegal issuing of land, stating that all members of ACC will be held accountable for the damages to ordinary citizens while they hesitate to take action.

Amid a whirlwind of complaints, ACC has declared the sale of these plots illegal and ordered the ministry to halt further issue, demanding the selection criteria be made public.

The graft watchdog has also threatened to take the Housing Ministry to court over the issue.

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