Ministry: Public unconcerned over halting Ameeneemagu development, will resume soon

Present condition of the area of Ameenee Magu currently under redevelopment. (Sun Photo/Ibrahim Shamweel)

The Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure stated that the public was not concerned over the halt in the development of Ameenee Magu, and that the work will resume very soon.

Road Development Corporation (RDC) on November 22 announced the decision to temporarily halt physical works on the redevelopment of Ameenee Magu citing equipment constraints.

The equipment was required to upgrade the services provided by Male’ Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC).

Decision to halt the project comes after the stones on the road have also been removed. This leads to flooding of the area, making it difficult to manoeuvre by foot or by vehicles.

Present condition of the area of Ameenee Magu currently under redevelopment. (Sun Photo/Ibrahim Shamweel)

Furthermore, since the number of people navigating the area has dropped, business owners have raised concerns over a decrease in earnings.

Many pose the question as to why such a major-scale project had not been awarded to a company more capable of undertaking the work and lacking proper equipment for it.

Such concerns continue to flood social media. In this regard, many continue to point to increased difficulties over the delay in the redevelopment works as Ameenee Magu is utilized by many.

Addressing these the State Minister of the Planning Ministry Akram Kalaamudheen said to Sun that the public was not concerned over the delays in the project.

“Even businesses are not facing losses. Road development has not stopped. It has begun. It has been paused until the equipment needed arrives from abroad. Within two or three weeks work will resume.”

He also noted that the upgrade work was being done in a certain way, and asphalt can only be laid after completing some of the repair works as well. Putting it in smaller bits was not the way to go about it, he added.

Despite the ministry’s stance on this, many have been expressing their disapproval of the project on various platforms.

Vehicle drives in the area of Ameenee Magu currently under redevelopment. (Sun Photo/Ibrahim Shamweel)

Residents of the area as well as business owners alike continue to voice their difficulties.

Ameenee Magu is one the biggest roads in Male’ City, therewith, is one which is most frequently used. Nevertheless, the condition of the road posing major difficulties to pedestrians and motorists who use it is a long-standing concern of Male’ residents.

Redevelopment of Ameenee Magu was first contracted to Male’ City Council for MVR 39 million. The project was later awarded to Road Development Corporation (RDC) – for twice the amount at MVR 84 million on July 3.

Planning Ministry contracted RDC to develop 7.1 kilometres of asphalt road, install a storm drain system, and install street lights within 210 days. Physical works on the redevelopment of Ameenee Magu were officially inaugurated on August 30, during a special ceremony. In order to carry out the work, Ameenee Magu has been closed from where the road intersects with Boduthakurufaanu Magu up until Irudheymaa Hingun.

The awarding of the project to RDC itself raised questions from the public as well. That is as people doubted whether the company possessed the capability to implement a project of this scale.

RDC came under extreme scrutiny when they initially commenced the redevelopment works – due to the cut down of trees in Ameenee Magu for construction. A court case was also filed requesting an interim order to halt the project over deforestation.

Workers cut branches off trees in Ameenee Magu on September 19, 2022. (Photo/La Vera Pizzeria)

In response, RDC said that redevelopment works cannot be carried out without cutting down the trees. They also pledged to plant a tree on the road, for each one cut down.

The trees in Ameenee Magu which were cut down were transported to Kudagiri – the picnic island being developed especially for the Male’ area.