Indian media sources have reported that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is to launch the Thilamale’ bridge project on his official trip to India.
The official trip will be held from Monday, 1st August, to Thursday, 4th August. President Solih is to visit New Delhi and Mumbai. He is to meet senior administration officials in Mumbai, as reported by some Indian media.
Wion reported that Thilamale’ bridge, linking Male’, Vilimale’, Thilafushi, and Gulhifalhu, will be launched on his trip to New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Solih are to launch the plan together.
This trip is an invitational one, extended by Prime Minister Modi. The two are to discuss ways to further the relationship between the Maldives and India, as reported by the President’ Office.
Thilamale’ bridge project was signed last year. The contractor is AFCONS Infrastructure limited. Indian government is to provide US$ 100 million as grant aid, while Indian EXIM bank is to provide a US$ 400 million line of credit for the project.
A 6.7-kilometer bridge and a causeway will be built under this project. Geotechincal work of the project is already underway. The first phase will link Male’, Vilimale’, and Gulhifalhu – it is expected to be completed by end of 2023. The second phase will link the bridge to Thilafushi by May 2024.
In spite of these timelines, several figures within the administration have expressed their doubts that it would be finished by the set timelines.