MALE, July 27 (Xinhua) -- President Abdulla Yameen of Maldives said his government will soon launch a new project which will connect capital Male to the suburban island of Villimale to solve the housing issue, local media reported Friday.
In his address to the nation to celebrate the 53rd Independence Day of Maldives, Yameen said his government was yet to provide a full solution to the issue of housing and overcrowding in Male, despite many other achievements over the past five years.
Hence the government will develop "Villimale 2" as another city, along with the ongoing development of Hulhumale's second phase, Yameen said.
Under this new project, Male City, Villimale and Gulhifalhu will be connected which would accommodate a population of 315,000.
The president vowed that, by the Independence Day of 2030, every person over the age of 18 would be provided with an apartment or land plot of no less than 1,000 square feet under this social housing program.
He further said the government would also soon launch work on a new bridge to connect Male, Villimale and Gulhifalhu.
Housing is a hot-button issue in the Maldives, where 39 percent of the country's 341,256 population lives on the 2.2 square mile capital island of Male.