President: Aim to develop Gan as an urban centre within 10 years

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih speaks at campaign event in L. Gan. (Photo/MDP)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has pledged to develop L. Gan as an urban centre which will have a population of 25,000 within the span of the next 10 years.

Speaking at a campaign event in Gan last night, President Solih revealed there were major plans to develop Laamu Atoll which has been formulated under his administration’s policies shaped to make the best use of the natural resources available in the Maldives.

Underscoring Laamu Atoll as a region where various beneficial projects can be pursued – he stressed that there will be no changes to the development plan, despite delays in the commencement of the projects.

“Our aim is to develop Gan as an urban centre. Developing the facilities on the island which is required to achieve this. Our aim is to transform this place to a population of 25,000 within the span of the next 10 years,” he said.

President Solih said major changes to education, housing, health services and a transport system were required to achieve this target. He noted that Gan’s development is based upon the development of facilities to attract people.

“It is not our intention to force people to move,” he added.  

The president, citing the first phase of developing Gan as an urban centre will commence next year, said the first phase plans included the following;

The development of 1,000 housing units next year, with the aim of developing 5,000 housing units in total by the end. The housing scheme will be open for both residents of Gan and outsiders.

Development of a tertiary hospital, and pursuing existing plans of developing a cancer hospital

Expanding the airport to 2,400 meters and internationalizing it

President Solih said his administration wants to carry out major tourism projects in the region. In this trajectory, he detailed that there will be direct flights to Gan once the airport is internationalized. He said the airport would be completed within one and a half years.

The president said this will pave the way for medical tourism and sports tourism.

With respect to sports tourism, he pledged to develop sports arenas that can be utilized to host international tournaments. He noted that this would create further job opportunities as well.

“Then, Gan will be ready for residents of the island and those who wish to migrate to the island,” he added.