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Current Affairs

Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP)

Date: 28 August 2021 Tags: India & World

Issue

The Government of Maldives has signed an agreement with Indian company AFCONS to implement the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP).

 

Background

Last year, external affairs minister S Jaishankar had announced the joint project GMCP with his counterpart Abdulla Shahid.

 

Details

  • The project will be the biggest infrastructure project undertaken by India in its neighbourhood in recent times.  It will also be the largest infrastructure project in Maldives.

  • The project will involve construction of a 6.74-km-long bridge and causeway link that will join the Maldives capital Malé with the neighbouring islands of Villingli, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. 

  • The funding of the project is done through a grant of $100 million by India and also a line of credit of $400 million.

 

About the project

  • India had decided to support the project after a request from Maldivian government. It will help in inter-island connectivity in the nation.

  • The bridge would allow easy movement for residents who otherwise have to be dependent on sea planes and boats, braving rough seas.

 

Need for the project

  • Male is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. More than 40% of the country’s population lives on the island.

  • There is an urgent need to distribute the population by decentralizing economy and development to different islands and join them together.

 

Significance

India says that the project is a proof of India’s participation in development of Maldives and also as a First Responder in times of any emergency.

 

Financing

The grant has to be returned over a 20 year period. The first five years will have no interest rate. A 1.75% rate will be applied later.

 

Stake for India

  • Indian company has promised to complete the project by 2023. Indian project are always considered as delay works and fulfilling the deadline will be a shot in the arm for India’s reputation.

  • India has already been opposed from a section of citizens. The project will also help the current party in power to return back else the opposition may once again follow the China-centric policy.