Minister of Infrastructure Dr Abdulla Muththalib has announced that the current government, led by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, has no immediate plans for the development of Uthuru-Thilafalhu (UTF).

The lagoon, which houses a strategic military post, has been at the center of controversy, with critics of the former government under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih alleging it was leased to India as a military base – a claim Solih vehemently denied.

The area, just months before the end of President Solih’s term, was designated for residential development for long-term residents of the capital city. Despite receiving 19,347 applications for the housing scheme and making progress on land reclamation, the current government has not provided specific plans for UTF.

Minister Muththalib highlighted the significant costs and logistical challenges associated with developing UTF. He noted the necessity of a larger bridge to connect it with Hulhumalé and stressed the importance of establishing basic facilities in Gulhifalhu and Giraavaru, which are already under development.

The former government’s pledge to reclaim 251 hectares of land at UTF for residential plots remains unfulfilled. The current administration is now concentrating on the Fushidhiggaru urbanisation initiative. This project, aiming to create a city separate from Malé City, has been allocated MVR 400 million in the 2024 state budget. As part of the government’s 100-day plan, this project is envisioned as a total solution to the housing crisis in Malé City.