President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Sunday stated that it is important to simplify the process of developing land use plans and, if necessary, amend laws to address recurring issues that arise while formulating the plans. The President made this remark at the second session of the third Viavathi Raajje conference being held in Gan Island of Laamu Atoll.
Speaking at this afternoon’s session which focused on land use plans of islands, President Solih noted that the island councils have been experiencing difficulties in developing the plans, which has hindered the development of their communities. The President stated that it was important to make the process easier for the councillors and to amend any laws that were impeding the process.
During the session, Mohamed Aslam, the Minister of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure presented a video on how to address specific issues that arise while compiling the land use plans and divulged strategies for avoiding recurring issues. Minister Aslam revealed that the Ministry received land use plans of 60 islands, 11 of which came from councils represented at the third Viavathi Raajje conference. He said that there were still issues in seven plans that were submitted, adding that the most common problem was keeping track of the location of trees.
The council members also discussed the issues raised at the "Fanoala Dharubaaru" meeting held prior to the Viavathi Raajje conference. They talked about the need for more technical staff with expertise in developing land use plans, as well as the need for more training and information sessions to familiarise themselves with the process.
President Solih was joined at the panel by Mohamed Aslam, Minister of National Planning, Housing, and Infrastructure; Dr Abdulla Mausoom, Minister of Tourism; Dr Hussain Rasheed Hassan; and Uza Hisaan Hussain, Member of Parliament for Thulhaadhoo constituency and member of the Parliamentary Committee on Decentralisation.
Prior to the second session, the Maldives Police Service and the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) held a session for the council members to update them on their work.
Over 270 individuals are participating in the Viavathi Raajje conference, along with 107 council members and Women’s Development Committee (WDC) representatives. The upcoming sessions of the conference to be held tomorrow will be focused on the fiscal autonomy of local councils and building resilient communities.