The Indian High Commissioner Sunjay Sudhir, on Monday, revealed that the tender process for the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP), would commence within the upcoming days.
High Commissioner Sudhir made the announcement while speaking at the ceremony held to sign a USD 400 million credit line agreement from India’s Export Import Bank (EXIM) to fund the GMCP. India has also committed a USD 100 million grant to facilitate the project which is scheduled to commence in December.
As per the Indian High Commission, tender documents will be prepared through consultations between Maldives and India's EXIM Bank while Maldivian authorities will issue the final tender for the selection of Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors.
Additionally, it was noted that technical authorities in both countries had approved the Detailed Project Report (DPR) compiled by Arup Ltd, the consultant chosen for the GMCP by the Maldivian government.
The USD 400 million credit line must be repaid within 20 years and includes a grace period of five years. The credit line mandates that 65 to 75 percent of the project materials be sourced from India.
- Construction of three 140-metre navigation bridges across the deep ocean channel between the islands
- Construction of 2.96 kilometres of at-grade roads in the islands included under the GMCP
- Establishing a signalized junction in the land interchange area in Vilimale' and Male'
- Construction of roundabouts in Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi
- Construction of a bus terminal on each island at the bridge's junction points
- Installation of solar panels on lamp posts and bridge parapets in order to power road lights, navigation lights and CCTV cameras along the bridges
The GMCP is the largest connectivity and infrastructure project in Maldives.
The bridge links, as well as the Gulhifalhu reclamation project, has come under heavy criticism from local NGOs, environmental movements and conservationists that assert that the mega-infrastructure project will result in irreversible damage to a fragile marine environment.
Intended to facilitate the relocation of the Male’ Commercial Port and create accommodation for 40,000 expatriates, the ongoing Gulhifalhu project which involves the reclamation of 30 hectares of land was approved by the government on May 6.
Although the current administration maintains its pledge to stand at the forefront of tackling climate change and transition towards a decentralized system, several have expressed discontent over continued investment in centralized and environmentally destructive projects.