India grants additional USD 15 mln for Thila-Male' bridge project

The Indian government has extended an additional USD 15 million for the construction of the Thila-Male' Bridge.

The grant was given to expedite the construction of the bridge that would connect Male', Villimale', Thilafushi, and Gulhifalhu. It will be utilized for labor and material required for the project. India had previously released USD 60 million to kick off the project through the Indian EXIM Bank.

The development of the Maldives' second over-water bridge 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. An agreement was signed with India's Afcon Infrastructure on August 26 to carry out the necessary surveys. The surveys will be carried out by a subcontractor of Afcons Infrastructure, Foresight Surveyors. Although the project's practical work is expected to commence early next year, it is unlikely that the work will conclude by the end of the current presidential term.

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 Villimale', 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 the Thilafushi-Gulhifalhu junction. The lights on the bridge will be solar-powered. The project is expected to reach completion in two years.