A team from the EXIM Bank of India on Monday signed a Line of Credit Agreement for USD 400 million to fund the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP).
A statement from the Indian High Commission in Male recalled that India’s support for the project was announced during the virtual meeting between External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid on August 13. This will be the single-largest infrastructure project in the Maldives and will link Male with Villingili, Gulhifalhu, and Thilafushi islands.
The agreement today was signed between Exim Bank and the Maldives Ministry of Finance. The Government of India has separately committed USD 100 million grant for the project.
Providing more details on the project, the press release said that the project is a 6.7 km bridge and causeway network connecting Male, Villingili, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. The project will be an economic engine and lifeline connecting Hulhumale, Hulhule and Male with the proposed Gulhifalhu Port and the Thilafushi Industrial Zone.
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 signalised junctions, while there will be roundabouts at Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. Bus terminals are planned on each island near the junctions with the mainline.
To use renewable energy as a sustainable measure in infrastructure, solar power will be used for road lighting, navigation lighting, deck cell lighting, CCTV and lighting on sign gantry and architectural lighting. Solar panels will be installed on top of the lamp posts and along discrete lengths of the bridge parapets.
The EXIM bank team is also holding discussions with other Maldivian Ministries and agencies – Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Planning, Infrastructure and Housing, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Hulhumale Development Corporation (HDC) – involved in the implementation of the Line of Credit projects. The discussions will assess the progress on the implementation of seven other mega infrastructure projects funded by the earlier USD 800 million Line of Credit.
These several projects include: i. Development of an international port at Gulhifalhu; ii. Establishment of water supply and sewerage networks across 34 islands spanning 16 atolls; iii. Development of roads and storm water drainage along with reclamation works in Addu atoll in southern Maldives; iv. Establishment of a Cancer Hospital in Hulhumale; v. Expansion of the Hanimaadhoo Airport in northern Maldives; vi. Construction of a Cricket Stadium in Hulhumale; vii. Expansion of facilities for the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company.
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