The Ministry of National Planning, Housing, and Infrastructure has said that the geo-piling boat, 'Rumailah,' has been sent off since it is not required for the Thilamalé Bridge construction project at the moment.
The Project Manager of Thilamalé Bridge, Mohamed Jinan, assured that it was sent off because there were no ongoing tasks for which the boat was needed, adding that there were no other reasons.
The boat has been used to install geo-pile lines and bridge structures between Malé and Vilimalé. The vessel was commissioned for work and brought to the Maldives sometime during 2022 by the bridge’s contractor, Afcons Infrastructure.
"We have all the necessary equipment needed for the bridge construction, and the work is proceeding according to schedule," Jinan said.
The contractor is currently installing two bridge pillars near the coast of Malé and another six pillars in Vilimalé lagoon.
The ministry has also claimed that the project’s initial phase, which involves connecting Malé City with Vilimalé will conclude by December 2022, and the entire project will conclude in 2024.
The Maldives government contracted India’s Afcons Infrastructure for the Thilamalé Bridge project for a total cost of USD 500 million on August 26, 2021. The project involves connecting Malé with Vilimalé, Thilafushi, and Gulhifalhu via a 6.7 kilometer bridge.
The Thilamalé Bridge project is funded through the USD 400 million line of credit issued by the EXIM Bank of India and a grant extension of USD 100 million by the Indian government.