UTF naval port project kicks off

The practical development of a naval base in Uthuru Thila Fahu (UTF) has kicked off.

In an agreement signed on February 21, 2021, the Maldives government partnered with the Indian government to establish an MNDF Coast Guard port and dockyard in UTF. The agreement was signed by Defense Minister Mariya on behalf of the Maldives and India's External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, solidifying the military ties between the two countries. As India is funding the UTF project, the contract was awarded to Vikas Nigam Limited, an Indian company, for $186.3 million (MVR 2.8 billion).

The practical work for the UTF project commenced on May 3, with the project being inaugurated by Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and his Maldivian counterpart, Mariya Ahmed Didi, during his recent visit to the Maldives. The Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) announced the commencement of the UTF project on Tuesday.

This significant project, funded by grants from the Indian government, will establish a naval port equipped with modern communication facilities, radar services, and training services. The project will not only enhance the capabilities of the Maldives Coast Guard but will also strengthen the military partnership between the two nations.

Despite the Maldives government's reluctance to disclose the UTF agreement, some portions of the agreement have been presented to Parliament's 241 Committee.