MVR 3.36 million allocated to develop an international port in G. Dh. Atoll

G. Dh. Thinadhoo. (Photo/Ahmed Nihan)

The government has allocated MVR 3.36 million in the proposed state budget for the upcoming year, to develop an international port in Thinadhoo, located in South Huvadhoo Atoll.

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer presented the proposed state budget of MVR 34.79 billion for the coming year to the Parliament on Monday. It includes an allocation of MVR 3.36 million to establish an international port and launch Customs operations in Thinadhoo.

Building an international port in Huvadhoo Atoll, and making the Kaadedhdhoo Airport, the first domestic airport to be built in Huvadhoo Atoll – international – is one of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s pledges.

North Thinadhoo MP Abdulla Mughni told Sun the Thinadhoo Council has decided the port will be built in the Baraasil area, located in the southern end of the island.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih speaks during a Jazeera Holhuashi session in G. Dh. Thinadhoo on July 12, 2019. (Photo/President's Office)

Mughni said that the government will initially develop a temporary commercial port in Thinadhoo. He said that the port was previously planned for the northern end of the island, but that the location will instead be used for the 1,000-ton ice plant storage project by Fisheries Ministry.

“The Council’s decision to build the port in the southern end is very recent. It’s because there is ample space in the area. But this, to be honest, will be a temporary port at this time. The government wishes to provide these services to the people as soon as possible. The plan for the official port project is to reclaim and build a seawall around the eastern end of the island. This too will be done, In Sha Allah,” he said.

Mughni said that given that Thinadhoo is the trade hub of the Huvadhoo Atoll as well as its most populous island, having a port in the island, even a temporary one, will be beneficial to the entire region.

According to the information on the budget regarding new projects, an additional MVR 1.5 million will be allocated for the project in 2022 and another MVR 1.5 million in 2023.

Mughni said that he is working in his capacity as a member of the Parliament’s Budget Committee to secure a MVR 103 million budget for Public Sector Investment Program (PSIP) projects in Thinadhoo, which will include establishing an Immigration desk, and introducing passport services and other public services.