Minister Aslam: Bridge work not on schedule

Planning Minister Mohamed Aslam responds to questions at the Parliament on April 4, 2023. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Planning Minister Aslam, acknowledging the work on Thilamale' Bridge is not on schedule, said the timeframe to complete the project will not be extended in spite of it. 

Central Maafannu MP Mohamed Rasheed (Bondey) raised concerns over the slow pace of Thilamale' Bridge works and inquired from the Minister how far the project has progressed during Tuesday's parliamentary sitting. 

Responding to the question, Minister Aslam said the awarded Thilamale' Bridge project, can make up for the delay incurred in the course of the project to an extent. Regardless, the Minister emphasized that they are not considering extending the timeframe given to the project.

“There are delays in the contractor's work when we look at the schedule. The work has not progressed to where it should be. They can catch up on some of the work. Nevertheless, we do not plan on giving them an extension.”

Work ongoing at the Thilamale' Bridge. (Photo /Afcon)

He further said that while it may seem that work on the bridge has stalled, work is being done. On this note, he detailed that the deck section is being constructed from the Gulheefalhu end. 

While work on the units of deck segments began last month, they are working on installing the pillars from the point where the bridge begins at Male' end. 

Project Manager, Mohamed Jinaan previously briefing the project; said piling work on two pillars near Male’ and six similar pillars near Villimale’ are underway. 

The Greater Male’ Connectivity Project – set to be the largest infrastructure development project in Maldives – is financed under an Indian grant of USD 100 million and a USD 400 concessional credit line from India’s Exim Bank.  

Once done, a 6.74-kilometer-long bridge and causeway link will connect the capital city Male City with adjoining islands of Villimale’, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi.

The scope of the project comprises three navigation bridges of 140-meter main span across the deep channel between each island, 1.41 kilometers of marine viaduct in deep water, 2.32-kilometer marine viaduct in shallow water or on land, and 2.96 kilometers of at-grade roads.

The government estimates that the Male’-Vilimale’ portion of the bridge will be brought into use this year– while the project is expected to reach full completion mid-next year.