Nasheed pledges to bridge islands in capital and build 12,000 new housing units

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Presidential Candidate, former President Mohamed Nasheed, has pledged he will connect the islands within the Male City via a bridge and will build additional 12,000 housing units should he be elected president in September’s elections.

Nasheed made the remarks during a campaign gathering in the Henveiru ward of Male’ on Tuesday evening.

Speaking during the gathering, Nasheed claimed the MDP believed in interconnecting the islands in order to resolve issues of congestion and over population in the city.

Although located in Kaafu Atoll, Male’ City is not administratively considered a part of the atoll. It currently consists of Male’ Island, Villingili Island, the airport Island Hulhule, Industrial island of Thilafushi and artificially reclaimed islands Hulhumale’ and Gulhi Falhu.

Except for Hulhule and Hulhumale’, the remaining islands are currently interconnected by ferry boats which have at times proven ineffective due to bad weather.

Previous plans

Nasheed had previously during his presidency reiterated the necessity for the government to built a bridge connecting the islands of Male’ and Hulhumale’ – an artificially reclaimed island built to combat the rising population of Male  – claiming that the existing ferry system was insufficient to accommodate the growing populations on both islands.

In December 2011, Nasheed’s cabinet decided to proceed with the construction of a bridge between Male’ and Hulhule, under the Male’ decongestion plans which the government said was intended to provide affordable housing for the people, and resolve other social issues.

Following the ousting of Nasheed’s administration two months later, his successor President Mohamed Waheed announced it had been trying to get a US$150 million loan (MVR 2.31 billion) from Turkey’s Exim bank to fund the project.

“We are presently in discussion with Turkey’s Exim bank to obtain a US$ 150 million loan for this project. The decision has been made to travel to Turkey for this purpose, but the loan is not yet confirmed,” Finance Minister Jihad told local media at the time.

President Waheed’s Housing Minister Mohamed Muizzu earlier said that government had received proposals from several international companies to construct such a bridge.

The Minister at the time claimed that two companies from China, one each from South Korea and Turkey had expressed interest in building the bridge.

“The companies have held discussions with me over building the bridge. The companies have also submitted ways to obtain funds. I hope that the project can begin before too long,” the minister said at the time.

Pledged 12,000 housing units

Nasheed during his speech on Tuesday said his vision was to provide 12,000 new housing units for the people of Male, and stressed that such a project is feasible.

“Our target is to connect Male’, Hulhule, Villingili, Thilafushi and Gulhifalhu and build a road that connects all these islands,” Nasheed said.

He further said that total cost of building the needed bridges stood at around US$100 million, and that it was possible for such a project to be completed through Public Private Partnership (PPP).

The former president highlighted that funds needed to build the 12,000 housing units could be generated through the sale of lands that would be reclaimed from Gulhifalhu and Hulhumale’.

“By reclaiming the land and by selling those lands, this project can be completed. We will make that project a successful project and hopefully by the end of 2015, we will try to build housing units for all those who are currently in need of it,” Nasheed said.

Speaking about the previous Veshi Fahi Male’ de-congestion project which was initiated by Nasheed himself during his presidency, said that he had learnt of many people who wished to see the project expanded during the MDP’s door-to-door campaigns.

Nasheed promised the project would be expanded and enhanced in an MDP-led government, which would provide affordable housing to residents of Male City.

The Veshi Fahi Male’ de-congestion programme was a flagship project of Nasheed’s government under the MDP’s manifesto pledge to provide affordable housing.

The project was launched on November 10, 2010 to ease congestion in the capital and develop the Greater Male’ Region, composed of Hulhumale’, Villingili, Thilafushi industrial island and Gulhifalhu.

Approximately 125,000 people are believed to reside in about 16,000 households in Male’; the total number of households in the Maldives is estimated to be 46,000.

“Once the reclamation of these islands are completed there would be space for more housing units even after building the targeted 12,000 units,” Nasheed said.

“MDP is proposing well-rounded policies. MDP is proposing an opportunity for development, a vision to help the people of this country find a better alternative,” he added.


9 thoughts on “Nasheed pledges to bridge islands in capital and build 12,000 new housing units”

  1. "He further said that total cost of building the needed bridges stood at around US$100 million, and that it was possible for such a project to be completed through Public Private Partnership (PPP)."

    This man has truly gone insane. Can someone take Nasheed to a psychiatrist please? Spending 100 million dollars on such a project will be the biggest waste of money ever undertaken. Do the people of Maldives, not just the Male conurbation, need a few bridges or do they need better hospitals and better educational facilities?

    Let's have a look at this bridge issue:

    (1) Firstly, I don't believe that figure. Even if the figure was right, this sort of infrastructure will lead to ongoing maintenance and refurbishment costs - recurrent costs. What are they?

    (2) This will create more social problems and not less. I don't believe that simply building a bridge, i.e. a road between these islands will lead to less congestion. It will lead to even more congestion and more social problems. A murderer from Male' now has to escape into Male' or board a ferry to escape out of Male.

    Even so, the police are struggling to control crime. With a conurbation spread out, and criminals having easy access in and out, imagine the rate of crime?

    If you add up all the things, he has promised to the people of Maldives, I reckon the total sum will be over 100 billion US dollars, already. World class airport in Hulhule, Addu, hospitals, universities, schools everywhere, housing schemes, and the list goes on.

    Looking at the last MDP government's track record on delivery, you'd be a fool to believe any of this pie in the sky promises.

  2. A bridge connecting the islands is an absolute must now. It is doable and once completed, it will change everything about Maldives.

    Nashhed should do it. Not because it is easy. But because it is hard and challenging and and thats the way to separate out real leaders from the boys.

    Do the bridge.

  3. Whether the bridge is doable or not, the vision of population consolidation to a sizeable area accessible through convenient transport system is very important and this vision should have been there since very beginning. There is enough area which can be reclaimed in Male atoll that can be extended to 15 square kilometer an area enough to accommodate all Maldivian population. If All Maldivians starts to work like pyramid builders in ancient Egypt, this is not something undoable. Please give hands to Pharaoh Anni and give up Mosses and his god. Everything is possible when you give up God; God is the biggest obstacle for the development human race.

  4. Visionary. That's what I like.

    Strong willed, energetic,realistic, target-driven, anti-mullah, inspirational president!

    You need to play a different ball game. Let these mullahs rant on things 6th century. And let these uneducated scum squabble over petty stuff. But you, President, can and need to make our dreams come true!


  5. @Fisherman Kaafir on Wed, 17th Jul 2013 11:02 PM

    "If All Maldivians starts to work like pyramid builders in ancient Egypt, this is not something undoable."

    Maldivians, workers, builders, all in one sentence? Get off that stuff, whatever it is that you are smoking.

    Build a mole hill first, see how that goes. A pyramid? Maldivians would rather drown themselves in the rivers of wine in heaven than do all that hard work.

    Finally, let me comment on your little calculation, if I may. You say that 15 km^2 is enough to fit the entire Maldivian population. With a population of around 400,000 that's tantamount to almost 27,000 poor bastards per square kilometer. I know, I know, that hell hole known as Male is worse than that. But that's not a shanty town we should be proud of.

    Is Nasheed a visionary? He certainly is good at making promises he cannot deliver.

  6. Nasheed is not visionary man at all. There is no way one can build all these bridges for 100 million . Having a bridge is not ultimate solution for our country.

    He must give priority to improve the economy and get out of the deficits . Once we are able to stabilize the economy and then start to have surplus budgets, then he can talk about the this kind of things and not before.

    The bridge itself is going to drag the country's debt further making it impossible to do.

    Nasheed had no economic agenda and all what he has is PR stunts with a hope of winning the votes and election.

    I don't think that Maldivian are that much fools , except the yellow party guys who had got huge finical benefits during Nasheed regime.

  7. Kuribee is right for once.....your government should try and improve the economy....such as it is.....before you implement grandiose housing schemes you cannot afford. I hear Male is overcrowded and crawling with drug addicts.....what a bloody shame.
    Indian construction should stay away as the Maldives is bankrupt.....look what happened to GMR.
    I hope your president isn't planning a trip to India anytime soon to 'borrow' the money?

  8. 2 things will put the economy right, eventually.

    1) Land reform - connecting the Greater Male area will reduce the socio-economic malaise of unaffordable and overcrowded dwellings. People can save money, spend it on mortgages or other valuable services rather than financing the undeserved lifestyles of Male landowners.

    2) Labour reform - Minimum wage. Pay fair regardless of sex and nationality, make it easier to fire civil servants who under perform. No free loaders.

    Rewarding mediocrity is not an incentive for excellent performance.

    When the smart people who work begin to reap benefits, only then will we have a functioning economy.


Comments are closed.