People who had been awarded land from the now-off limits area around the Equatorial Convention Center (ECC) in Addu will be duly compensated, the Addu Island Council has announced.
Although people had received land plots for development around the ECC, a recent decision has defined that area ‘uninhabited’ in order to preserve it for tourism development.
In 2011, the government approved a regulation allowing for the sale of alcohol on uninhabited areas of inhabited islands. Alcohol is otherwise prohibited on inhabited islands.
A statement from the Addu council’s infrastructure department requested that all construction work in that area, renamed Haiy-dhoo, immediately cease, but stated that investments on houses which were being constructed would be compensated.
According to Haveeru, the now-reserved area consists of 371 land strips, eight of which were under construction.
Land owners of plots in Haiy-dhoo will also be able to apply for flats and housing units under the government’s housing scheme.
The southern-most atoll in the Maldives, Addu has historically been under developed. In the build-up to the 2011 SAARC Summit, which was hosted in Addu, however, the area received huge investments to develop roads, ports, and to build the ECC.
Officials and locals in Addu have expressed enthusiasm for the changes, and are now tasked with maintaining the pre-SAARC momentum.