K. Male'
26 Aug 2021 | Thu 17:03
High Commissioner of India to the Maldives, Sunjay Sudhir
High Commissioner of India to the Maldives, Sunjay Sudhir
Greater Malé Connectivity Project
High commissioner says “mission accomplished” following the signing of GMCP agreement
The Greater Malé Connectivity Project was awarded to Indian company, Afcons Infrastructure Limited on Thursday
Sudhir went on to express pride in the transparency and the inclusiveness of the process
The USD 500 million project is funded by the Indian government

High Commissioner of India to the Maldives, Sunjay Sudhir said "mission accomplished" following the signing of the Thilamalé bridge project, or the Greater Malé Connectivity Project (GMCP).

He made this remark during his address at the signing ceremony where an Indian company, Afcons Infrastructure Limited was contracted the Thilamalé bridge project, on Thursday morning.

Noting that this is a concrete milestone, the high commissioner noted that the USD 500 million Greater Malé Connectivity Project supports the vision of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for strong bilateral relations.

It is a concrete example of working in tandem of the India-first foreign policy of the Maldives and the neighborhood-first foreign policy of India. The importance of this mega project is signified by the fact and as finance minister Ibrahim Ameer just mentioned that 20 percent of the cost that is about USD 100 million will be met through an Indian grant and the remaining USD 400 million through a line of credit by the EXIM bank of India.”
Sunjay Sudhir, High Commissioner of India to the Maldives.

Sudhir highlighted that the seeds of the project were planted during External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar’s visit in September 2019. Following this, a meeting was held where Minister of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam made a “very detailed” and thorough presentation on the project.

Stating that the Indian delegation was “indeed so impressed” that the government immediately got down to work and since then, so much progress has been made.

It has been a mission for all of us and today I can say that it is mission accomplished, thank you all. Of course, it’s not all yet done but at least we have reached a very concrete milestone today and now we move to the implementation stage and we look forward to the groundbreaking of the project very soon.”
Sunjay Sudhir, High Commissioner of India to the Maldives.

Further, the high commissioner highlighted that Indian Model of Development Cooperation is demand-driven, adding that priorities are set by the host government, which has a major role in execution of the project. As such, the high-impact community projects involve the local councils and the line ministries in a major way in the implementation, as far as the line of credit projects are concerned and a case in point.

The project’s DPR was prepared by the Maldivian government, as well as the tendering process, selection and signing with the contractor.

Sudhir went on to express pride in the transparency and the inclusiveness of the process.

I also wish to mention that the GMCP was not a part of the initial USD 800 million line of credit which was discussed and decided during President Solih’s state visit in December 2018. This was a request which came much later, but then, seeing the importance of the project for the government of Maldives, the Indian government responded very positively. If you have an overall look at the Indian line of credit and community development project, you will see geographical dispersal as thematic variety.”
Sunjay Sudhir, High Commissioner of India to the Maldives.

In his remarks, HC Sudhir also praised the company the mega project was contracted to, expressing certainty that “that they will do a wonderful job in terms of both quality as well as timelines for implementation” as the company has engaged with some of the world’s leading consultants, experts and designers to support the project.

Sudhir said that GMCP will be an iconic and enduring aspect which fulfils the objectives it is supposed to serve for the Maldivian government and is also concrete proof that India is a “robust” development partner of the Maldives, in addition to being the first-responder in times of emergency in the Maldives.

The newly-initiated project will support livelihoods, provide jobs and contribute in propelling Maldivian economy to its true potential. Sudhir expressed hope and confidence that the economy of the country will reach the USD 10 billion mark, “very soon”.

As we enter the implementation stage, we will continue to seek the support of all of you which we have received so far, but since we’re going to enter a very different and a very key phase of the implementation part of the project, we again request you for your continued support, thank you very much.“
Sunjay Sudhir, High Commissioner of India to the Maldives.

The 6.74km long bridge agreement was signed at a ceremony held at Hotel Jen.

Sudhir was joined by Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail, Planning Minister Aslam and Transport Minister Aishath Nahula at the signing ceremony.

Last updated at: 7 months ago
Reviewed by: Aishath Shaany