Fugro, a Dutch multinational company involved in survey work on the Thilamale' Bridge in the Maldives, has been found to be defaulting on payments to hotels where its employees are staying in Male' city. This has led to concerns among hoteliers about the financial viability of the project.
According to sources, Fugro's employees are staying at two-three high-end hotels in the city, from where a hotel said they have not received any payment since November last year. The hotel revealed that a company called Total Three Private Limited was working as a local partner for Fugro and had booked hotels and paid initially. However, the company later stopped paying and said it was not receiving money from Fugro, the hotel said.
"We are not able to call Total Three now. Fugro employees are still here," said a senior hotel official.
Repeated calls to Total Three and Fugro by The Maldives Journal did not elicit a response. The non-payment of dues by Fugro has raised concerns among hoteliers about the financial viability of the project, as similar issues have been reported in the past as well in the bridge project awarded to Afcons in India. They protested against the non-payment of dues to the bridge workers. There has also been a case of non-payment of funds to a company that works on the logistics of the project.
The Thilamale' Bridge is a crucial infrastructure project for the Maldives, connecting the capital city Male' to the airport island Hulhule'. The bridge is expected to reduce the travel time and costs significantly for locals and tourists alike.