The construction of the Maldives' second overwater bridge has been contracted to Indian company, Afcons Infrastructure.
The project agreement was signed between the Maldives government and the contractor at a special ceremony held Thursday. Permanent Secretary of Maldives' Planning Ministry, Zeeniya Ahmed Hameed signed the agreement on behalf of the Maldives government while the company's Director, R. Andar Kumar signed the agreement on behalf of Afcons Infrastructure.
Afcons Infrastureture is the same company contracted to develop the roads of Addu City.
The development of the bridge linking capital Male' with Villimale', Thilafushi, Gulhifalhu is financed by the Indian government. India has extended a grant assistance of USD 100 million and a further loan of USD 400 million for the project. According to the Indian Embassy in the Maldives, the loan is part of the USD 800 million line of credit facility from Indian EXIM Bank. A line of credit is a flexible loan that can be repaid either immediately or over time.
The Indian Embassy earlier on Wednesday released images of what the Thilamale' Bridge would look like once the project reaches completion.
According to the Planning Ministry, the Greater Male’ Connectivity Project is a 6.7km sea crossing link from the southwest corner of Male’, running adjacent to the south shore of Villingili, then along the southern periphery of reclaimed land on Gulhifalhu, and terminating on land at Thilafushi. The main bridge component will be 1.4 km long. Traffic lights will be installed at the Male- Villimale junction, while a roundabout intersection will be at Thimafushi-Gulhifalhu junction. The lights on the bridge will be solar-powered. The project is expected to reach completion in two years.
Afcon Infrastructure is a sister company of India's TATA company. Established 60 years ago, the company is one of the most qualified hydro and underground companies in India. Some of the projects completed by the company include the Transgabonaise Road project linking India's east and west. Afcons is also constructing Ghana’s longest railway bridge over one of the world’s largest man-made reservoirs.