Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), using its largest dredger, the Maha Jarraaf, has begun reclaiming land at H. A. Hoarafushi for airport development.
Vice President of Hoarafushi Council, Ibrahim Shakir reported to ‘Sun’ that MTCC began reclaiming land on the south western side of the location where the airport will be built last Tuesday afternoon.
MTCC is scheduled to complete land reclamation within the next two months, and construction of the entire airport within 16 months.
The Hoarafushi Airport Development Project was contracted to MTCC on March 25. And work on the project was initiated by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on March 31.
The location of the airport development project in H. A. Atoll was originally H. A. Maafinolhu – an uninhabited island which neighbors Hoarafushi.
The original project, too, was contracted to MTCC, in 2018, during the previous administration.
The project was relocated from Maafinolhu to Hoarafushi in March.
Speaking during a press conference to announce the change in location on March 14, Managing Director of MTCC, Hassan Shah said that the decision was based on the new administration’s policy to avoid harming the environment of uninhabited islands such as Maafinolhu with major infrastructure development projects.
Speaking during the same press conference, Head of Projects at MTCC, Ahmed Latheef said that though Land reclamation for the Maafinolhu Airport Project was initiated in July, 2018, the company did not initiate any practice work on land reclamation at the island.
“The former administration, with the intention of reclaiming land at Maafinolhu, took Maha Jarraaf and other equipment to the island. But no practical work was initiated,” said Latheef.