Outgoing administration has handed over the determination of toll charges for bus rides across the recently opened Sinamale bridge to the administration of President-Elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
While bus rides between capital Male, airport island Hulhule, and reclaimed suburb Hulhumale are currently provided free of charge by Maldives Ports Limited (MPL), discussions are underway to establish a toll system.
The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Ibrahim Muizzu, stated that information regarding the combined efforts of The Housing Ministry, the Police, the Transport Authority and the President’s Office’s ‘Bridge Committee’ were passed on to the transition team.
Muizzu expressed hope that the new administration would consider the incumbent government’s plan to establish an electronic toll system which would not interfere with traffic flow.
Muizzu stated that their intention was to ensure the toll rates were affordable compared to ticket prices of ferries which were previously the only means of public transport of the journey.
The official contractor of the bridge, China Communications Construction Company Ltd (C.C.C.C), will remain in Maldives for a period of two years after which the Maldivian government will take over the reigns of the bridge.
The Chinese government had provided USD 126 million as aid, while the Maldivian government spent USD 12.6 million from the state budget for the construction of this bridge that represents the friendship between two countries.
The Sinamale Bridge, connecting Male to Hulhule, is one of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's main presidential pledges and was officially inaugurated on August 30.