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Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) has launched the project to construct the first terminal of the Integrated National Public Ferry Network in Hoarafushi, Haa Alifu Atoll.
The high-speed ferry services will be available in six zones, as identified in the National Spatial Plan, and will provide two separate networks for passenger transit and movement of goods and services in between the regions linking maritime transport with land and air transport. The first terminal is being established in Zone 1, which consists of all the islands in Haa Alifu Atoll, Haa Dhaalu Atoll, and Shaviyani Atoll. MTCC and Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure have completed the survey of Zone 1.
Speaking at the ceremony held to inaugurate the construction of the ferry terminal in Hoarafushi, CEO of MTCC Adam Azim said over 40 terminals will be established in the next six to seven months across the country, which will greatly ease transport and travel for Maldivians. He noted the terminal in Hoarafushi will be the first to be completed.
Meanwhile, President of Hoarafushi Island Council Mohamed Waheed said Maldivians and tourists who arrive in the island face difficulties such as being unable to seek shelter during bad weather due to an undeveloped harbour, and expressed hope the terminal will provide air-conditioning and a place to rest and shop for travellers.
MTCC is currently seeking contractors to build ferries to be utilised for the Integrated National Public Ferry Network, which are to be designed with consideration to elderly people, pregnant women and disabled people. The government aims to begin the high-speed ferry services in Zone 1 in the last-quarter of 2021.