The Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure on Sunday contracted the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) to build a causeway across five islands in Laamu atoll.
According to the ministry, MVR 155,941,090 was allocated to connect the islands of Laamu atoll Kalaidhoo and Dhanbidhoo, within 550 days.
The second phase includes connecting the islands of Hithadhoo, Mendhoo, and Kunahandhoo in the atoll. The ministry allocated MVR 81,222,471 for the causeway's construction, which must be completed in 500 days.
The total project value is MVR 237,163,561.
While MTCC has said that the project will be mobilised soon, the residents of both Kalaidhoo and Dhanbidhoo have raised concerns over the delays in its initiation. A joint statement from the councils of both islands highlighted that the causeway project was allocated in the state budget for the last three years, but physical work on the project never commenced.
Earlier, Kalaidhoo council president Ahmed Shiyam told Mihaaru News that an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) was completed in 2019 for the project, though it never progressed further. He also said that linking the islands would improve their social and economic status.