Former President Abdullah Yameen has stated that for three years, former President Mohamed Nasheed had ‘merely marveled at the intricate engineering feat’.
His statements came as a response to incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s statements on the Hulhumale’ bridge project.
The bridge linking Male’ and Hulhumale’ was the flagship project of the Yameen administration. The project, built by Chinese aid, started in 2014 and was completed on 30th August 2018.
President Yameen made the reference to President Nasheed’s statements back in 2008. Nasheed then had claimed that such a bridge was not feasible and had questioned on how the finances for such a project would be sourced.
In the press conference on Wednesday, President Solih had compared the Hulhumale’ bridge to the bridge that is to be built linking Vilimale’ to Male’. He said the bridge to Vilimale’ was being built more cost effectively. According to the statistics he provided, Vilimale’ bridge would cost US$ 500 million. Out of this, US$ 400 million is a loan from India’s Exim Bank.
He used cost per sq meter as the sole metric for determining how cost effective the bridge is. Any bridge, irrespective of length, is subject to other factors such as climatic conditions of the area and depth.
In the press conference, President Solih also mocked the statements made by President Yameen on the issue of bridges. President Yameen last week, had revealed that China had planned to build the Vilimale’ bridge free of cost, if a second term was secured for President Yameen.
President Solih said that it was inconceivable that China would deliver on such a pledge, adding that developmental projects should not hinge on who had the leadership of the country.
President Solih’s presser came nine months after his last one. The Solih administration came to power in 2018, riding on a wave of media disclosure and a pledge to hold pressers every month.
President Yameen’s tweet made note of this, adding that his successor’s attempts to obfuscate the narrative was probably a sign of dementia. President Solih, he said, ‘laments not building Hulhumale’ bridge for US$ 116 million’ and that President Nasheed ‘merely marveled’ about the topic of bridges for the three years of his administration.