'Indian companies cannot build bridges', says Yameen

Former President and main opposition leader, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom has said that India is far behind in the civil engineering sector and that bridge construction is not possible for India. Yameen made the statement on Sunday while speaking to Addu City Feydhoo residents during his current visit to the island.

President Yameen said the current government has awarded the construction of the Maldives' second over-water bridge to India's Afcons Infrastructures. However, progress in the construction of the Thila-Male' Bridge is not being witnessed as India has no experience in doing such work, he said.

President Yameen’s administration built the Sinamale' Bridge connecting Male', Hulhule' and Hulhumale' with Chinese assistance. Referring to the project, President Yameen said China is a leading country in the field of civil engineering. Yameen added that when the Sinamale' Bridge was being built with China's assistance, the then opposition raised its voice saying it was a debt. However, 'real debt' becomes evident when looking at the current government's expenditure, he said.

President Yameen has repeatedly said that the current administration's decision to hand over the construction of the Thila-Male' bridge to India is not a good decision.

The Project Manager of the Thila-Male' Bridge project, Mohamed Jinan, had earlier said that an underwater pillar of the bridge would be visible before the end of October. But no such pillars can be seen thus far.