India, Maldives to sign pact on mega Greater Malé Connectivity Project

New DelhiWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: Aug 26, 2021, 10:30 AM IST


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The project was first discussed during EAM Jaishankar’s September 2019 visit to the country.

India and Maldives will sign a contract on the mega Greater Male Connectivity project (GMCP), the largest infrastructure project of the country.

The project is a 6.74 km long bridge and causeway link that will connect national capital Male with islands of Villingli, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. It is funded under a grant of $100 million and line of credit of $ 400 million from India.

The signing ceremony will take place at 11 am and will witness the participation of four ministers - Ministers of National Planning & Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam, Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail, Finance minister Ibrahim Ameer, Transport Minister Aishath Nahula, Maldives foreign secretary, Indian High Commissioner Sunjay Sudhir and senior Management from AFCONS. The contract will be signed between India's AFCONS and the Maldives government.

The project was first discussed during EAM Jaishankar’s September 2019 visit to the country. During the visit, President Solih and foreign minister Abdulla Shahid had requested for such a project, one that will not only be a connectivity link but become the economic lifeline of the country.  The project essentially connects four main islands of the country, where almost half of the Maldivian population lives. The project will use solar power for lighting purposes.

Once completed, it will dwarf the 1.4 km long Sinamalé Bridge which connects Male with Hulhule’ and Hulhumalé. The bridge was built with Chinese support was completed in 2018.

India has been involved in other infra projects of the country. This includes expansion of the airport at Hanimadhoo and gan, roads and reclamation in Addu, expansion of fisheries plants, cricket stadium in Hulhumalé, water and sanitation project in 34 islands and road project in the southern city of Addu.

India's line of credit is being used in ten projects which includes a cancer hospital whose survey work is in progress. Earlier this year, an additional amount of $4.5 mn for High Impact community development projects was approved by the Indian government.