TMJ has learned that the Indian company, JMC Projects Limited, the contractor for the Hanimaadhoo Airport Project worth over MVR2.1 billion, informed the government that the airport completion within the expected timeline was impossible.
The government proposed the project be finished within 20 months. However, JMC had explicitly stated that a timeline of 20 months was simply too short and that they will most likely require a period of 24 months (2 years) to make the airport operational.
Furthermore, JMC had also proposed to drop some features of the collective project under the guise of reducing costs.
JMC’s proposed amendments to the initial agreement:
- To construct the terminal’s space frame with normal steel and metal instead of using materials from the German Mero Company
- To use Zinc Aluminum sheets on the terminal roof instead of Zinc Titanium
- To not use Lithium Ion battery with Solar PV System as backup power
- To build a fuel Jetty weighing 3000 metric tonnes instead of a jetty weighing 16900 metric tonnes
Despite the government agreeing to some of these proposed terms, it has not been reflected in the cost of the project.
The airport project, worth USD 136.6 million, is to be financed by India’s Exim Bank. Although the government has not released further details of this loan, it has been speculated that the MVR 2.1 billion spent on the project can finance the construction of two more airports of the same quality.
The Economic Ministry stated that the construction work for the airport is set to commence by this year’s end and is expected to be fully operational by the year 2024.
Despite the government’s assurances, no project contracted to an Indian company has been completed by deadline and Indians working on these projects were perceived as careless.
Even though the state has multiple ongoing water and sewerage projects contracted to JMC Projects, none of the projects have adhered to their timelines. Therefore, it is safe to assume that despite JMC’s claims to complete the airport within 24 months, the idea seems far-fetched.