The Maldives government has refused to disclose the work schedule of the Thilamale’ bridge project, citing the confidentiality of the agreement with Afcons Infrastructure, the contractor responsible for the bridge's development. This decision comes after President Solih claimed that the work of the bridge is going as per schedule, which prompted The Maldives Journal (TMJ) to request a copy of the schedule under the Right to Information Act.
The Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure responded to TMJ's request in writing, stating that the schedule is part of the bridge development contract with Afcons Infrastructure and, therefore, they must maintain the confidentiality of the agreement. This is not the first time that the government has refused to disclose information about the bridge to the media. Last year, when TMJ requested information about the bridge, the ministry also refused to disclose it. As a result, a case was submitted to the information commissioner's office, which ordered the ministry to disclose the information. However, the ministry decided to appeal the case at the high court.
The Thilamale bridge is a crucial infrastructure project in the Maldives, being developed with a 400 million dollar loan from the Indian exim bank. The bridge will connect the capital city, Malé, to Thilamale, an island that has been earmarked for economic development. The project is expected to boost economic growth in the country by providing easier access to the airport and other key areas, which will benefit both tourists and locals.
Despite the government's refusal to disclose the work schedule, President Solih has assured the public that the project is going according to plan. In a recent statement, he emphasized the importance of the bridge for the country's development and promised to ensure that it is completed on time and to a high standard.
However, the lack of transparency around the project has raised concerns among some members of the public and the media. The refusal to disclose the work schedule has sparked questions about the government's commitment to accountability and transparency. It has also raised concerns about the potential for delays or cost overruns, given the lack of information about the project's progress.