The reclamation work on the Site B of Hulhumalé Phase III development project has commenced, Urbanco announced on Saturday.

In a post to X, Urbanco quoted its Managing Director Fazul Rasheed as saying, “Again, we have started the reclamation of Hulhumalé (Phase III). We will provide land plots [to those who have been granted land] from here, as the President has said. We have come to provide comprehensive services to the people in the fastest possible way.”

Under the former government’s Binveriya scheme, 1,400 plots have been allocated in Hulhumalé, including Phase III.

The land reclamation work under Phase III is divided into three segments, and the project is set to add a total of 63 hectares of land to Hulhumalé. While 10 hectares of land were reclaimed in stage one, 29 hectares and 24 hectares are planned to be reclaimed in stage two and stage three respectively. The project includes land reclamation, revetment, road construction, bridge construction, and jetty construction. After the first stage was completed about two months ago, the project had been on hold, according to Urbanco.

On Saturday, Urbanco issued an announcement instructing vessels docked in the two areas of the harbour to leave, making way for the ongoing reclamation work. The company said it will facilitate the docking of vessels outside the restricted areas, and added that additional information can be obtained via its hotline at 1516.

Capital Marine and Civil Construction Company Limited is the main contractor for the project and will be paid US$259.2 million to manage the project in its entirety, according to Urbanco. The main contractor has subcontracted some components of the project to other companies based on skills and expertise required at specific points. Boskalis of the Netherlands assigned to carry out the dredging and reclamation work.

Urbanco is the ‘official brand name’ of the Housing Development Corporation. Originally established in 2001 as the Hulhumalé Development Unit with the mandate of carrying out the Hulhumalé development project, the department was spun-off as a state-owned enterprise (SOE) in 2005, becoming the Hulhumalé Development Corporation. In 2009, it underwent a transformation, becoming the Housing Development Corporation, with a mandate shift to carry out housing projects across the entire country. In 2023, Urbanco was introduced, marking a more commercial shift, with the social housing segments of Hulhumalé development already having been transferred to Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation Ltd in 2019.

Additional reporting by Abdulla Shujau