President Abdulla Yameen and First Lady Fathmath Ibrahim on Saturday night inaugurated an ambitious project to build 10,080 housing units for civil servants and employees of state-owned enterprises.
Launched with fireworks at a groundbreaking ceremony in Hulhumalé, the Hiyaa housing project involves the construction of 36 towers with one, two and three-bedroom apartments to house 80,000 people, according to the president’s office.
“Private companies along with state companies and government offices will be part of this mega project, the first of its kind,” the president’s office said.
Under the project, plots have been awarded to companies as well as the Maldives National University and the Islamic University, which would undertake development.
Speaking at the ceremony, Yameen said state-owned companies would set aside half of the housing units for its staff and allocate the rest for the public.
Construction of the towers would be complete in 2019, he said.
In separate projects, construction is underway on 7,000 social housing units and 1,530 mid to high-range units in Hulhumalé.
Last month, the government pledged 1,000 flats for civil servants. Some 24,500 people are employed in the civil service, of which more than 9,500 work in Malé.
The apartment complexes are to be built in the landmass reclaimed in early 2015.
Some 240 hectares of land were reclaimed in the second phase of the Hulhumalé urban development project, adding to the 188 hectares reclaimed in 2002.
Yameen’s administration plans to relocate and settle 70 percent of the country’s 338,000 population in a ‘Youth City’ developed on the artificial island.
Some 38 percent of the population resides in the congested capital island. A Chinese-financed bridge to connect Malé with Hulhumalé is expected to be complete in mid-2018.