Greater Male Connectivity Project is India’s largest-ever infrastructure project in the Maldives.
The Maldives’ greatest public infrastructure project is called the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP). The project intends to link Male, the capital, with three nearby islands: Villingili, Gulhifahu, and Thilafushi. Once finished, this project will be the largest civilian infrastructure project in the Maldives.
Points to Remember
- The GMCP calls for the construction of a 6.7 kilometer-long bridge and causeway link connecting Male to the coral islands (atoll). This bridge will be bigger than the one built by China. This 6.7 km bridge project connecting Male with Gulhifalhu Port & Thilafushi industrial zone will help revitalize and transform the Maldivian economy.
- The Maldives will get a $500 million package from India.
- India has pledged its help for the Greater Male Connectivity project’s execution (GMCP in the Maldives).
- The project comprises three navigation bridges with a primary span of 140 meters main span across the deep channel between each island, as well as 2.32 kilometers of marine through a duct in shallow water or on land, 1.41 kilometers of marine through a duct in deep water, and 2.96 kilometers of at-grade roadways.
- To promote the use of renewable energy, this project will use solar power for lighting purposes.
- India has provided financial assistance/line of credit for $400 million through the EXIM bank.
- Once finished, this project will increase the connection between the islands, boost trade and tourism, create jobs, and help the Maldives prosper economically.
- India and the Maldives have signed a memorandum of understanding for a project to improve male connectivity.
- India and the Maldives have inked an MOU for a $100 million funding for the Greater Male Connectivity Project. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, India’s Foreign Secretary, and Abdulla Shahid, the Maldives’ Foreign Minister, signed the MOU. It is part of India’s $500 million contributions to the Maldives project. India will also offer a line of credit for the remaining $400 million.
- During the visit of the Indian Foreign Secretary to the Maldives, three additional agreements were signed including, collaboration in sports and youth issues, the establishment of plant and soil testing facilities.
The President of the Maldives thanked India for its support and described it as a watershed moment in the Maldives-India collaboration.
When finished, the project will be dwarfed by the Chinese-built Sinemale Friendship Bridge, which connects Male to two additional islands.
Relations between India and the Maldives
India and the Maldives have cordial ties, with India being the first country to recognize the Maldives after it gained independence in 1965. The Maldives has an “India First” policy, which is reciprocated by India’s “Neighbourhood First” strategy.
The Maldives is the first country in South Asia with which India started an air travel bubble during the Covid-19 pandemic period.
Previously, India has undertaken 30 community-oriented projects in the Maldives. Out of the 30 projects, 13 projects have been successfully inaugurated, and the rest are expected to be completed by December 2021.