The ministry of housing and infrastructure awarded projects to two state-owned companies yesterday to develop an “industrial village” and a foodcourt in Malé’s southwestern harbour.
The industrial village project involves extending the breakwater, reclaiming four hectares of land, and building garbage dumps. The US$10 million project was awarded to the Maldives Transport and Contract Company.
Speaking at the contract signing ceremony, Housing Minister Dr Mohamed Muizz said that the project’s design and the environment impact assessment has now been completed.
The area will include parking space for heavy vehicles, waste management sections, warehouses and fuel stations, Muiz said, calling the venture “one of the most important projects the housing ministry will carry out this year.”
Muiz said the government would recover the cost of the project in four years by leasing plots from the reclaimed land for industrial purposes.
The main purpose of the project is to relocate industrial work to a non-residential area, he said.
Since taking over municipal tasks from the opposition-dominated Malé city council, the housing ministry has undertaken projects to build parks and a new artificial beach in the capital’s western waterfront.
Muiz said the beach will be opened to the public next week.
Critics have meanwhile accused the government of neglecting the rest of the country and focusing development in the Malé area with costly projects.
The ministry also signed a contract with the State Trading Organisation yesterday to develop a modern “Singapore-standard” foodcourt near the southwest harbour with parking spaces and public toilets.
The area currently has some 40 teashops. According to STO, the new foodcourt will have 25 stalls, but will be able to accommodate more people.
“The new food court will be developed in two phases and will be completed within six months,” said Ahmed Shaheer, STO’s managing director, after the contract signing ceremony.
The state wholesale trading company will manage the foodcourt for 10 years. The company has not revealed the estimated cost of the project.