India-Maldives pact on Greater Male Connectivity Project

India and Maldives have signed pact with Maldives on one of the major connectivity initiatives called “Greater Male Connectivity Project”.

Key Points

  • Under the agreement, India will start the largest-ever infrastructure project called Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP) in the Maldives.
  • For the project, India will grant $100 million and a line of credit worth Rs 400 million.
  • GMCP is the flagship project of President Solih’s presidency and will be an enduring symbol of India-Maldives partnership.
  • This project will be started to connect business, people and industry.
  • GMCP will comprise of the construction of a 6.74 km long bridge and causeway link. Both will connect the capital city Male with adjoining islands of Thilagushi, Villingli and Gulhifalhu.

Background

This project was planned during the visit of external affairs minister of India to Male in September 2019.

Significance of the project

Agreement over the GMCP project proves that, India is a robust development partner of the Maldives and is also the First Responder in times of any emergency in the Maldives. It is not only the biggest project by India in the Maldives but also the biggest infrastructure project overall in the Island nation. It will provide a major boost to Maldivian economy as well as the connectivity between four islands that accounts for about half of the Maldivian population.

Largest connectivity project

So far, the largest connectivity project in Maldives is the Sinamale Bridge of 1.4 km, which was completed in 2018. It was built under Chinese assistance and connects Male with Hulhule and Hulhumale.

India’s investment in Maldives

Connectivity between India and Maldives is the key partnership aspect between both. To maintain the partnership, a direct cargo ferry service was started in September 2020 that connected Tuticorin, Kochi, Male and Kulhuffushi. India also started an Air Travel Bubble with the Maldives, in August 2020.

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