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In a major boost to diplomatic ties, India and Maldives signed a contract on the mega Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP), the largest ever infrastructure project in the country on Thursday.

Greater Male Connectivity Project contract signed between the Maldives government and Afcons Infrastructure Limited. (Photo Credit: The Hindu)

AFCONS, the infrastructure arm of Shapoorji Pallonji Group grabbed the $530 million contract funded by the Exim Bank of India under the Indian Grant and Line of Credit (LOC).

The Greater Male Connectivity Project ( GMCP) will consist of a 6.74 km-long bridge and causeway link between Male and nearby islands of Villingli, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi.

The signing ceremony was attended by Mohamed Aslam, Minister for National Planning and Infrastructure; Faiyyaz Ismail, Minister for Economic Development; Ibrahim Ameer, Minister for Finance; and Minister for Transport Aishath Nahula. Indian High Commissioner Sanjay Sudhir and senior representatives from AFCONS represented the Indian side. AFCONS is known for its “extreme engineering” projects that also include the Chenab Railway Bridge.

An official press release noted that the GMCP project would be bigger than the Sinamale Bridge built with Chinese assistance that connects Male with Hulhumale and Hulhule and was completed in 2018. The GMCP project will add dynamism to the Maldivian transport and economic activities as it is aimed to connect four islands accounting for about half of the Maldivian population.

Team Eastern Interest
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