In news- The Maldives government and Mumbai-based Afcons Infrastructure Limited recently signed a contract for the $500-million Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP).
- GMCP is Maldives’ largest infrastructure project that is being funded by New Delhi.
- The 6.74-km bridge and causeway link will connect the capital of Malé with the islands of Villingli, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi.
- The project includes three navigation bridges with a main span of 140 metres across the deep channel between each island, 3.73 km of marine viaduct, and 2.96 km of roads.
- It is being funded through a grant of $100 million and a line of credit of $400 million from India.
- It will boost connectivity between the four islands that account for almost half of the Maldivian population.
- It is conceived as an economic lifeline for the Maldives, connecting the capital with a new international port planned at Gulhifalhu, also under an Indian line of credit, and an industrial zone at Thilafushi.
- The project will use solar power for lighting, and solar panels will be installed atop lamp posts and along the bridge parapets.
- When GMCP is completed, it will dwarf the largest Chinese-funded connectivity project, the 1.4-km Sinamale Bridge that connects Male and Hulhule and Hulhumale, and was completed in 2018.