Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination (Topic: Greater Male Connectivity Projects)

Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Current Affairs Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Topic: Greater Male Connectivity Projects

Greater Male Connectivity Projects

Why in News?

  • India and Maldives recently concluded USD400 million Line of Credit (LoC) agreement for the implementation of the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP), which is the singlelargest connectivity and infrastructure project in the island nation.

About Project

  • Maldivians have often highlighted the disparity between capital Male and the atolls that can be reached only via boat service.
  • The GMCP, a 6.7 km bridge and causeway network connecting Male, with islands Villingili, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi, is the second significant connectivity project in the Indian Ocean archipelago, coming two years after the China backed $200 million Sinamale Bridge, or the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge connecting airport island of Hulhule with the capital, was inaugurated.
  • The scheme is composed of three navigation bridges of 140 m main span across the deep channel between each island, 1.41 km of marine viaduct in deep water, 2.32 km marine viaduct in shallow water or on land, and 2.96 km of at-grade roads.
  • To use renewable energy as a sustainable measure in infrastructure, solar power will be used for road lighting, navigation lighting, deck cell lighting, CCTV and lighting on sign gantry and architectural lighting.
  • Solar panels will be installed on top of the lamp posts and along discrete lengths of the bridge parapets.

Other Major Projects

  • India has engaged in 7 major infrastructure projects in the country under 800 million USD Line of Credit, and these include:
  • Development of an international port at Gulhifalhu;
  • Establishment of water supply and sewerage networks across 34 islands spanning 16 atolls;
  • Development of roads and storm water drainage along with reclamation works in
  • Addu atoll in southern Maldives;
  • Establishment of a Cancer Hospital in Hulhumale;
  • Expansion of the Hanimaadhoo Airport in northern Maldives;
  • Construction of a Cricket Stadium in Hulhumale; and
  • Expansion of facilities for the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company.

Current India-Maldives Relations

  • India has announced $250 million special financial assistance to help the Maldives as it tries to cope with the economic strain gravely aggravated by the pandemic.
  • According to the UNDP, the Maldives is amongst the worst affected countries in Asia region and potentially globally, due to the impact of COVID-19.
  • In its latest outlook the Asian Development Bank has also observed that output in Maldives is expected to shrink by a fifth in 2020, the sharpest GDP forecast revision in the sub region, then grow by 10.5% in 2021.”
  • During COVID-19 crisis to demonstrate the nation’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and commitment, India rushed food and medical supplies to other SAARC member-nations. India sent 6.2 tonnes of medical supplies aboard an Indian Air Force (IAF) transporter.
  • In relatively recent times, India rushed large quantities of drinking water when the desalination plants of capital Male got burnt in December 2014.

Dynamic Relation

  • Signs of strains began to show up in bilateral relations, when then president Abdulla Yameen began identifying with his new international friend in China. Yemen became the first Maldivian President to visit China, preceded by China’s Xi Jinping doing so earlier. But current government posed more trust with India and weighs foreign policy in practical terms.
  • Previous Maldivian government was pitching India against China for better bargains. This policy is shunned by current government.
  • India-Maldives civilian cooperation at the government level had got a real boost when in 1987, New Delhi rushed its Air Force personnel to restore order and democracy (‘Operation Cactus’) in the country after a group of Sri Lankan Tamil mercenaries sought to overthrow the legitimate Government.
  • India and Maldives both, are founding members of SAARC. As India has ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, Maldives has ‘India First Policy’.