Reclamation work officially commences on ph2 of Gulhifalhu

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih inaugurating the reclamation work on the second phase of Gulhifalhu. (Photo / President's Office)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Sunday officially inaugurated the reclamation work on the second phase of Gulhifalhu.

A special ceremony was held at Gulhifalhu, where the Managing Director of Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) and Project Director Mahujoob Shujau said that reclamation of Gulhifalhu has been talked about since Male’ started becoming overpopulated.

However, till now, no government has had a good vision for the reclamation and development of Gulhifalhu.

“Prior to this, on two occasions reclamation was carried out on Gulhifalhu. Within ten years, we saw every government attempt to make use of this place. We saw a bit of land being reclaimed and flats being built as well.”

During former President Mohamed Nasheed’s tenor, 10 hectors of land was reclaimed, and housing flats were built. The project was awarded to Global Projects Development Company (GPD). However, when former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom came into power, he took the island from GPD via Maldives Police Service.

Moreover, after taking the island under the government, those who paid for the flats from Gulhifalhu were instead offered housing options from Hulhumale’.

Mahujoob said that the work off today would add an area of 150 hectors, and that this would be the largest reclamation project in the country.

The project was awarded to Netherland-based contractor Boskalis on October 17, 2019.

In a statement released by Boskalis, it was stated that the Ministry of Planning, Housing and Urban Development handed over the project for over MVR 2 billion.

Boskalis has previously carried out several development projects in Maldives. In 2010, the company even carried out the reclamation of the first phase of Gulhifalhu.

The second phase of Gulhifalhu’s reclamation would be dedicated to the regional port to be developed. Once completed, all the work related to the international port will be shifted to Gulhifalhu.

According to the Planning Ministry, a total of 18 million cubic meters of sand will be filled into lagoon for the reclamation, and rock boulder revetments will be placed along the area.