New Delhi, India: A series of agreements were signed between India and the Maldives to advance their bilateral relationship in the areas of connectivity and infrastructure on Tuesday. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of the Maldives visited at the signing of these agreements. A meeting between Solih and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took place.
Both leaders took part in the virtual “pouring of the first concrete” event for the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP), a USD 500 million construction project funded by grants and concessional loans from India. The GMCP is one of India’s largest projects in the area and the greatest infrastructural undertaking ever made in the Maldives. A male will be connected to Villingli, Gulhifahlu, and Thilahfushi by the 6.74 km long GMCP.
By creating jobs and stimulating the economy, the project will play a significant role in the Maldivian economy’s future growth.
A specific $400 million Line of Credit was given to the Maldives in October 2020 so they could carry out the GMCP. The project is also receiving funding from the Indian government (GoI) in the form of a $100 million special grant. AFCONS received the project in August 2021. Today, the two parties discussed the development of the 4,000 social housing units being built in Hulhumale with funding from the Exim Bank of India’s USD 227 million Buyer’s Credit.
Prior to that, in February and March of 2021, respectively, India’s NBCC and JMC reached EPC agreements with Maldvies’ FDC to complete the projects’ construction and design-related elements.
Each of the NBCC and JMC projects received a contract for the building of 2,000 housing units at a cost of USD 130 million and USD 137 million, respectively. Under the two projects, a total of 2,800 apartments with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, as well as 1200 units with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, are being built.
The initiatives are anticipated to have a favourable effect on the economy and contribute to further decongestion in Male City. Both projects got going in January 2022. The two sides also discussed the development cooperation between India and the Maldives, including initiatives for the repair of the Friday Mosque, water and sanitation on 34 islands, and Addu roads and reclamation.
One of the high-priority projects covered by the USD 800 million Line of Credit provided to the Maldives is the “Addu Development Project – Road Development and Reclamation.” For the purpose of implementation, the project has been divided into two packages. It is being carried out in accordance with the USD 800 million LOC granted to the Maldives government. The ‘Roads and Drainage’ component of the project scope comprises building a 4-lane bypass connecting Hithadhoo island with Maradhoo island, which includes two bridges of 210 m and 450 m, as well as 40km of paved roads, 67 km of unpaved roads and 104 km of the drainage network.
The NIRDPR in India and the Local Government Authority in the Maldives also exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Capacity Building & Training of Members of Local Councils and the Women Development Committee of the Maldives.
Between INCOIS, India, and the Ministry of Fisheries, Maldives, an MoU on Collaboration in Potential Fishing Zone Forecast Capacity Building and Data Sharing and Marine Scientific Research was signed.