The ministry of housing and infrastructure has awarded an MVR40 million (US$2.5 million) project to develop an artificial beach in Malé’s western waterfront to the state-owned Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC).
The capital’s second artificial beach is to be developed with a recreational area, fishing pier, waterfront pavilion, beachfront park, waterfront promenade, underground parking facility, cafés, dive spots, waterfront residential mix, and a fort.
“By December of this year, citizens of Malé, especially Maafannu, will be able to swim in the [new] artificial beach,” housing minister Dr Mohamed Muiz said at the contract signing ceremony on Monday.
The project is expected to be completed in 120 days, he said.
— Dr.Mohamed Muizzu (@MMuizzu) August 24, 2015
The tsunami monument removed from the eastern corner of Malé will also be set up on the western waterfront. The monument was removed for the construction of a bridge between the capital and Hulhumalé.
Muiz also explained that the area between the former West Park Restaurant and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital on the capital’s outer ring road will be redeveloped as part of the project. The environmental impact assessment for the project has been completed, he said.
“The new artificial beach will be twice as big as the one at the eastern side of Malé,” he said.
Aside from the swimming track in front of the State Electricity Company building, the artificial beach on the eastern waterfront is the only swimming area currently available to residents of the capital.
Asked whether the opposition-dominated Malé City Council (MCC) was involved in the consultation phase of the project, Muiz said development of the capital was now the ministry’s responsibility following recent changes to the decentralisation law.
MTCC CEO Ibrahim Abdula Razzaq Haleem meanwhile revealed that the construction would involve replacing the current breakwater with a 272 meter-long one, deepening and then dumping sand into the area to form the artificial beach and a shallow swimming area.
The Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) will donate sand from a dredging project.
Ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MPs Ahmed Nihan and Abdulla Rifau attended the signing ceremony.
“It has always been a concern that citizens in Maafannu had to walk all the way to Henveiru if they wanted to take a swim, now all that will be a thing of the past,” said Rifau, who represents the South Maafanu constituency.