President Mohamed Muizzu has reassured the public that his administration’s flagship Rasmalé project will proceed as scheduled, despite recent financial hurdles that led to a temporary halt.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the ruling People’s National Congress (PNC) House on Sunday night, President Muizzu addressed concerns surrounding the stalled project, which had encountered a significant setback when the contractor, Sri Lanka-based Capital Marine and Civil Construction Company Private Ltd. (CMCC), failed to secure the necessary funding. This has cast uncertainty over the project’s future and timeline.

The president, however, declared that reclamation work on Fushidhiggarufalhu is scheduled to resume in July, with the target of reclaiming 1,100 hectares of land by the end of December. The Rasmalé project, unveiled on 18 December 2023, aims to reclaim 1,153 hectares from the 1,280-hectare Fushidhiggarufalhu lagoon, situated 10 kilometres south of Malé.

In addition to Fushidhiggarufalhu, President Muizzu highlighted that reclamation efforts in Gulhifalhu, Giraavarufalhu, and Hulhumalé Area III would proceed concurrently. “Other regions throughout the nation designated for reclamation to meet housing demands will proceed as promised,” he assured.

Despite the financial challenges that led to the temporary suspension of the Rasmalé project, as Minister of Construction and Infrastructure Abdulla Muththalib disclosed on 30 May, the administration remains undeterred in moving forward with the project, according to President Muizzu.

The original contract with CMCC had proposed a unique compensation arrangement, offering the contractor land from Hulhumalé and new land from Rasmalé as payment. President Muizzu, however, did not say whether a new contractor has been assigned to resume the suspended project.

President Muizzu launched the project in December last year, defying the parliament’s decision to redirect MVR 400 million from the 2024 Budget, which was initially allocated for the Rasmalé project, to other ongoing housing projects initiated by the previous government.