Minister Nahula: Minibuses will be brought within next three months

Transport Minister Aishath Nahula. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Muzain Nazim)

Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Aishath Nahula has stated that the minibusses required to commence minibus service in Male' City will be brought to the country within the upcoming two or three months.

In an interview given to a special program broadcasted by Sangu TV on the occasion of the third anniversary of the incumbent government under the title ‘Three years with President Solih’, Minister Nahula said that the minibus service is a service which the government hoped to introduce as early as possible.

“Introducing minibus service is a project that we wanted to finish at a fast speed. However, the Covid situation which led to constraints in the budget has resulted us being unable to allot a budget for minibus service,” she had said.

Minister Nahula stressed that although there have been major delays, efforts were still underway to introduce minibus service as soon as possible.

“MTCC, Police and Ministry have readied to submit a paper to Economic Council after discussions. I believe that a decision will be made on this within the next two to three months after which we can commence efforts to bring the buses.” she detailed.

Minister Nahula also highlighted that the decision to use environmental-friendly buses in the provision of the minibus service is another reason which delayed its introduction.

“From the start even, we wanted to introduce environmentally friendly buses to the Maldives. Because these buses are costlier than normal buses, receiving funds for it is taking time,” she added.

Prior to this even, Minister Nahula has said that introduction of minibus service in the Maldives is being delayed due to budget constraints.

Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) was contracted to introduce minibus service in Male’ City within a span of four months in February 2019. However, back then, Minister Nahula said that although it was mandatory to commence service, it was being delayed as the buses which are being brought to be utilized for the service are customized ones.

Following the failure to commence the service as per the agreement – Minister Nahula gave the new estimate that the service can be commenced in January 2020. In this regard, she said that the Ministry has completed all works necessary on their end regarding the project and handed it over to MTCC. However, the COVID-19 pandemic had hit right after.

Introducing minibus service in Male’ City is a 100-day pledge of this administration.