No extensions given for Thilamale' Bridge work

The deadline for the completion of the Thilamale' Bridge has not been extended, Planning Minister Mohamed Aslam has said.

At Monday's Parliament sitting, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam noted that the government had given different dates for the completion of the Thilamale' Bridge. He inquired from the minister when the project would reach completion and asked if the sale of India's AFCONS Infrastructure, the project's contractor, would have any impact on the project.

In his response, the minister said the bridge is to be completed within the contracted period and that no additional extensions have been given to date.

"I do not remember giving too many conflicting dates for the project completion. The contract still states, as before, that the work must be completed within the contracted period. We have not given any further time extension yet," he said.

The minister said the contractor may have claims for some work and said engineers' advice will be sought under such circumstances.

AFCONS, which is working on the Thilamale' Bridge project, is run by Indian billionaire Shapppr Mistry's Shapoorji Pallonji (SP). The parent company is planning to sell stake in its subsidiary company. However, the minister is confident that the company's sale would not affect the Thilamale' Bridge. The agreement with the company would remain valid even if the company is sold, he said.

Some Indian newspapers have reported that in addition to Afcons, the Gopalpur port, which is operated by the SP Group in India, is being sold due to the financial problems faced by the SP. The company is reportedly trying to sell about $2 billion in assets. According to financial statements, SP, which is worth about MVR 30 billion, also sold some of its assets last year due to financial issues.