Male’ City Council (MCC) refutes the statements made by the Planning Ministry, over the issue of usage of Vilimale’s commercial area in the Thilamale’ bridge construction, denying the claims that MCC was slowing down the project.
Deputy Mayor, Ahmed Nareesh, elaborated on the matter in an open session of MCC meeting held on Wednesday.
He said that the Planning Ministry had sent a letter four months back, setting the land area that would be needed in the Thilamale’ bridge construction. Following this letter, officials from MCC had gone to Vilingili, surveyed and set aside the required land area for the bridge project.
“They [officials from Planning Ministry] assured us that none of [Vilimale’] commercial zone would not be merged into the bridge project. There’s about 300 feet between the commercial zone and the area they want,’ he said.
Deputy Mayor added they had questioned on whether the commercial zone would be impacted in any way during the whole bridge project. Planning Ministry had confirmed that no impact would be on the zone.
However, Nareesh said that on Tuesday the Council had received a letter from the Ministry, asking to set aside land from the commercial zone for the bridge project. He added that zones in Vilimale’ were made under a land use plan and with the input of Vilimale’ citizens. This, he said, was ascertained by the Ministry as well.
The decision to release land from the whole of Vilimale’ was made after ensuring all these aspects. Planning Minister Akram Kamaluddin, Nareesh alleges, had deliberately ignored these aspects, adding that he was not ‘surprised’.
A directive from the Planning Ministry said that MCC had announced the lease of land from Vilimale’ could not be carried out. The Ministry further said this was a deliberate attempt to halt this administration’s main developmental project – the Thilamale’ bridge that connect Male’, Vilimale’, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi.
MCC had refuted all these claims.