The Government remains committed to deliver on its promise of decentralizing development despite the economic challenges posed by Covid-19, the President emphasized as a key message in his annual address to the People’s Majlis. Two crucial aspects to realizing this goal is ensuring high quality infrastructure nationwide and improving connectivity throughout the country’s atolls and islands. This will ensure that all of our citizens, not just those residing in the capital, can enjoy all the benefits of modernity, including ease of access to travel.
It was in the context of realizing this goal that the Government opened Haa Alifu Hoarafushi airport last year, the President remarked. It is in that same spirit that the Government aims to commence work to build five more airports this year – in Meemu Muli, Haa Dhaalu Makunudhoo, Shaviyani Bilehfahi, Baa Thulhaadhoo, and Thaa Vilufushi.
The Government also aims to revive work pertinent to inaugurating a high speed ferry network for both passenger and cargo transportation. This project had been stalled in the last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the country accelerates its recovery efforts this year, the Government is keen to take this project forward and has handed over responsibility to Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC).
He further pledged that work to strengthen basic infrastructure, including availability of basic necessities in all islands, will continue this year. President Solih noted that when this administration was sworn into office, over 70 percent of islands lacked basic water and sewerage facilities. This Government recognizes this as an urgent issue that needs to be resolved, and is committed to ameliorating it. The President was also happy to note that 14 harbor construction projects, coastal management projects in 2 islands and land reclamation projects in 2 islands were concluded last year, designed to help meet the basic needs of the people.