The Maldives government has signed an agreement to move ahead with the second phase of reclamation work on the island of Hulhumale’, despite claiming last week that the project could face continued delays due to limited financing.
The development of Hulhumale’ near Male as a residential area was originally intended to reduce congestion in Male – one of the most crowded cities in the world, with an estimated 55,000-60,000 people per square kilometre.
The state’s renewed commitment to the Hulhumale’ reclamation work came as the government last week revealed it was in discussion with Saudi Arabia over security a US$300 million credit facility.
Despite the state’s financial concerns, President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad said the agreement would see work commence on a second phase of land reclamation in Hulhumale’ “as soon as possible”.
On Tuesday (July 16), President Waheed told local media the reclamation work that had already been delayed in order to “clear the financial aspects of the project” would soon commence without much further delay.
“By the will of God, the project can commence in the near future after everything gets finalised,” Waheed was quoted as saying by newspaper Haveeru.
Local media reported that the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) project to reclaim 230 hectares of land suitable for residential use was estimated to cost US$60 million.
In January this year, six foreign parties reportedly expressed interest in the second phase of developing Hulhumale’, which is anticipated to be the largest project of its kind in the Maldives.