Sinamale' Bridge: No plans to charge toll fees, says minister

Transport Minister Aishath Nahula has stated that the government does not intend to charge any toll fees for those who use the Sinamale’ Bridge. The minister made the statement while speaking on a program aired on state radio on Saturday.

When asked by a call-in listener if the government intended to charge toll fees, the minister said the government has no such plans thus far. She noted the importance of a reliable transport system, and said facilitating such arrangements is a responsibility of the government. She noted that the ease of travel from one point to the other is a basic right that must be facilitated.

Despite the minister’s assurance that a toll fee will not be charged, the current administration in its initial budget allocated a budget of MVR 56.8 million to establish a collection system on the bridge. The figure was included under the budget for PSIP projects. The estimated budget for 2020 had also included MVR 1.7 million for the project. The budget for 2019 showed that the project had been handed over to a company, although the details of the company were not revealed.

The former government had plans to charge toll fees for bridge users. However, as the term was about to end at that time, the government paused the plans to allow the incoming administration to implement it.