Neelan Fihaara blaze: No alternate accommodation yet for city council workers

City council workers affected in the Neelan Fihaara fire wait at the courtyard of Imaaduddin School on January 9, 2023.

Accommodation has yet to be arranged for the workers affected in the blaze which spread from the Neelan Fihaara – auction marketplace - to the accommodation block for the Male’ City Council’s migrant workers earlier Monday, according to the city council.

The workers are currently housed at the Imaaduddin School.

Total 202 city council workers were affected in the fire.

City council’s spokesperson told Sun that authorities were working on arranging alternative accommodation for the workers.

Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu said the city council requested the Planning Ministry, Youth Ministry, and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Monday morning.

He said that the NDMA is working on arranging accommodation for the workers from Hulhumale’.

The council’s biggest priority right now is to provide them with food, he said.

The fire broke out at the Neelan Fihaara at approximately 06:00 am Monday. The fire was controlled through joint effort of the police, MNDF and civilians at approximately 07:30 am.

The Neelan Fihaara is not new to fire incidents. Fires broke out at the marketplace in 2015 and 2017. Authorities suspect foul play in both cases.

The latest fire took place shortly after the marketplace was reopened despite forced closure by the city council.