In one of the major connectivity initiatives abroad, India will commence the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP) — the largest-ever infrastructure project — in the Maldives. India will grant $100 million for the project besides a line of credit worth Rs 400 million.
The contract will be inked between the archipelagic nation’s government and Maharashtra-based construction and engineering company Afcons infrastructure. The Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP) will be the largest-ever infrastructure project in the Maldives, funded under the Indian Grant and Line of Credit.
Called the Greater Male Connectivity Project, it will involve the construction of a 6.74 km long bridge and causeway link connecting the capital Male with the adjoining islands of Villingli, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi, reported Indian Express. Before this, the largest connectivity project in the Maldives was the 1.4 km Chinese-funded bridge connecting Male to the Maldives airport in Hulhule island, and to the Hulumalhe island.
Discussions on the GMCP were initiated during the visit of External Affairs Minister S Jaisankar to Male in September 2019.
A planned new airport at Gulhifalu under an Indian Line of Credit, and the fact that Thilafushi is where the Maldives industrial zone is located, will make the GMCP and “economic lifeline”, officials said.
The scheme is composed of three navigation bridges of 140 m main span across the deep channel between each island, 1.41 km of marine viaduct in deep water, 2.32 km marine viaduct in shallow water or on land, and 2.96 km of at-grade roads. The land interchanges at Male’ and Villingili will be signalized junctions, while there will be roundabouts at Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. Bus terminals are planned on each island near the junctions with the mainline.
Speaking at the event, India’s envoy to Male Ambassador Sunjay Sudhir said, “The Greater Male Connectivity Project supports the vision of PM Modi and President Solih for strong bilateral relations. The seeds of the project were planted during EAM’s visit to Malé in September 2019. GMCP is a concrete proof that India is robust development partner of the Maldives in addition to being the First Responder in times of any emergency in the Maldives.”