India’s AFCONS Infrastructure has stated that the self-evaluating platform (SEP) for the Thilamale’ Bridge that ran aground on Vilimale’ reef will be removed in two days.
The platform ran aground on 16 August and was noticed by the Marine Police. The incident left three injured who were treated at Villimale’ Hospital.
AFCONS released a press statement on Tuesday, stating that the platform had run aground due to bad weather. Moreover, the statement also confirmed that the company has now mobilized all the equipment needed to remove the platform from Villimale’ reef.
At a press conference held by the Planning Ministry on Tuesday, Project Manager of the Greater Male’ Connectivity Project (GMCP), Mohamed Jinah said that such incidents may occur during large-scale projects and the platform will be removed cautiously as to not impact the reef. He added that the Ministry and stakeholders will work together to avoid such incidents in the future. Jinah further assured that the bridge project timeline will not be impacted by the incident.
Thilamale’ Bridge is developed under the GMCP, contracted to Indian-based AFCONS Infrastructure Limited. The project scope includes the construction of three navigation bridges, viaducts, and on-grade roads, linking Male’, Villimale’, Thilafushi and Gulhifalhu.
The GMCP is the single-largest infrastructure project in the Maldives and is expected to become a national economic engine, and a lifeline connecting Male’ to Villimale’, Gulhifalhu, and the Thilafushi Industrial Zone. The project is funded through a USD400 million line of credit from Indian Exim Bank and a USD100 million grant from the Government of India.