Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) Mohamed Wajeeh Ibrahim has said that development of the Malé Industrial Village will resume in line with previous plans.

The development of an industrial zone in the city began in 2016 when incumbent President Mohamed Muizzu was the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure. A 4.5 hectare section of land had been reclaimed at the west end of Malé for the purpose.

The then administration had also discussed with MPL to build prefabricated buildings on the site with a view to rent them out. However, work stopped after a change in administrations in 2018 and the area has since not been put to proper use.

The industrial village is currently used by the Waste Management Company (WAMCO) to manage waste operations while housing a fuel shed and STO’s ready-mix plant. The rest of the area, while partially leased out for various purposes, has been left unplanned and is seen as a garbage dump.

The area is littered with abandoned vehicles, furniture, and garbage, and no work has been done to develop the industrial village in accordance with any plan.

Speaking to local media, the MPL CEO said he had discussed the resumption of the work in a meeting with the President. The industrial village will be cleaned up as soon as possible and preparations are underway to start in accordance with the administration’s plan, he said.

“There will be land for storage, garages, workshops, woodworking and various other specialised workshops. People will be able to live in peace if such places are relocated,” Ibrahim said.

The funds for the work and the search for a contractor are also underway, he said. The contractor who worked with MPL in 2018 is also ready to assist in the resumption of the project, he noted.

The housing of warehouses and workshops in the middle of the city has caused a lot of challenges to the people and living conditions in such areas — this includes noise, crowding and potential health issues.

Several potentially fatal incidents, both recent and in the near past, have also occurred in workshops and garages across Malé, with rescue workers being stymied in efforts to control such situations and residents suffering damages to self and property while being put in harm’s way.