Mayor: Delay in land use plan approval has left mega projects on pause

Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Fayyaz)

The delay in approval for the land use plan is hindering many of the city council’s planned projects, states Male’ City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.

Muizzu told Sun on Tuesday that the city council has multiple mega projects planned – each of them meticulously planned.

He said that the biggest obstacle to implementing the projects is the delay by the government in approving the city council’s land use plan.

“We cannot run development projects without the approval. We have lost a year or so because the government wouldn’t approve the plan. It is not because we failed to prepare a land use plan. It has been one year since we made it, followed all procedures, and submitted it. They still haven’t approved it,” he said.

One of the planned projects by the city council includes the redevelopment of the local fish market to a four-story building.

The city council previously said they would begin the project last year.

“We were unable to start the project because the government wouldn’t approve the land use plan. We found an interested developer and completed all procedures. But how are we to get the blueprint approved?" he said.

Muizzu said that both the land use plan and the blueprint require approval from the Planning Ministry.

“That too is similarly blocked. And when I say ‘that too’ I mean the plan to build parking buildings and the fish market and such,” he said.

Muizzu said the city council was ready to discuss changes to the land use plan if required.

He said that the city council hopes to have the plan approved as soon as possible.

“Our plans are very much on the backtrack, aren’t they? This is a great loss, isn’t it? Especially to the people,” he said.