Winter is coming: controversial project to be finished before Ramadan

Winter is coming: controversial project to be finished before Ramadan
March 11 20:01 2018

A “winter corner” for the capital’s showpiece park will be finished before Ramadan, Housing Minister Mohamed Muizzu has said.

The frosty feature, boasting the Maldives first and only ice-rink, was absent when the revamped Rasrani Bageecha park opened to much fanfare last year.

Muizzu had said the winter corner would be ready by the end of 2016 for the “social well-being” of Maldivians.

“Some may question how one might build a winter area in Maldives,” he said more than two years ago. “But it has been done in countries like ours. By the will of god, we will build it in a way that resembles a cold country and duplicates the feeling of being in a cold country.”

The project was ridiculed and criticised, with people describing it as a distraction to hide the government’s failure to address real social problems.

Muizzu explained on state TV why there was a delay to the unveiling of the icy attraction.

“A lot of tests need to be done to see how we can sustain the temperature in Malé,” he said. “It is getting delayed because it is being built in a very different way. The area will have a snow machine that will let people experience winter. Ice-skating will also be possible.”

Neither MTCC, the state-owned company contracted to build the winter corner, nor the housing ministry have revealed the cost of the project.

Muizzu tweeted on Saturday that money was not being spent from the state budget and it was being funded by CSR from the tourism sector.