An agreement has been signed to commence phase one of the work to connect islands of the Maldives through a high-speed ferry network.
The signing ceremony took place at Seneco Hall at Dhivehiraajjeyge Adu between Director General of the Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure Fathimath Shaanaa Faarooq and the CEO of the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) Adam Zahir; the President’s Office last week announced the decision to allocate the project to MTCC.
Ferry services are to be made available to Haa Alif, Haa Dhaalu and Shaviyani Atolls through phase one of the Integrated National Public Ferry Network, with 40 to 50 high-speed launches as ferries.
Additionally, ferries will be operational throughout the week, and plans are in place to conduct at least two trips a day to islands with hospitals.
One of the key goals of establishing an efficient Integrated National Public Ferry Network is to allow the geographically dispersed citizens of the country a convenient, secure and cost-effective means of transport between islands.
Discussions took place among cabinet ministers to eliminate existing obstacles to traveling, establish a convenient and modern transport network, and to ensure that the benefits of economic and infrastructure development were made equally accessible to citizens living in remote parts of the country
The Integrated National Public Ferry Network will consist of passenger and cargo ferry services to all the administrative islands of the country, with the Ministry of Planning having identified six central regions which will link maritime air transport and air transport, through highway, commute and non-commute links as identified in the National Spatial Plan (2020-2040).
The commute links of the Ferry Network will be dedicated to connect regional islands to allow convenience for citizens traveling short distances for work and essential needs.
Non-commute links are to connect islands with long-distance transport services, and highway links will essentially be ferries that link different regions of the country through high-speed ferry transport networks.
The second aspect covered under the Integrated National Public Ferry Network would be high-speed launches that carry cargo and goods, by connecting all islands of a region to the nearest commercial hub.
Minister of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam and the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Aishath Nahula took part in the ceremony to sign the agreement for the Integrated National Public Ferry Network.