Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Wednesday jointly inaugurated several key development projects in the Maldives via video conference.
The projects include gifting of a ‘Made in India’ Coast Guard Ship Kaamiyaab to the Maldives, the launch of RuPay card, lighting up of Male using LED lights, High Impact Community Development Projects and launch of fish processing plants.
Modi announced that India is working on building a cancer hospital and cricket stadium in Hulhulmale while work on the water and sanitation project in 34 islands will begin soon.
Congratulating President Solih on completing the first year of his Presidency, PM Modi said it has been a landmark year for democracy and development in the Maldives.
It has also been a significant year for India-Maldives relationship, he added.
The Prime Minister told Solih that India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ and Maldives’ ‘India First’ policies have strengthened bilateral cooperation in all sectors.
Speaking about the Fast Interceptor Craft Coast Guard Ship Kaamiyaab, the Prime Minister said it would help in enhancing Maldives’ maritime security, and promote blue economy and safeguarding its tourism industry.
“Today, a “Made in India” Fast Interceptor Craft was officially handed over to your Coast Guard. This advanced vessel has been constructed by L&T in my home state,” Modi told Solih during the video conference.
The brand-new vessel will be manned by 8 Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) personnel trained in India.
Modi also expressed happiness at partnering through High Impact Community Development Projects for supporting the livelihood of the islands community.
He noted that People-to-People contact is one of the keys aspects of close relations between both countries. In this context, Modi said India’s tourist figures in the Maldives has more than doubled, 3 direct flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru have also started this week.
He said launch of RuPay payment mechanism will pave the way for higher tourist arrivals from India and, eventually, stronger people-to-people contacts between the two countries.
I am glad that this has been launched through the Bank of Maldives, he added.
A project installing LED streetlights in Male was also inaugurated.
2500 LED streetlights donated by India were installed in Male recently. These streetlights save 80% energy and will result in cost savings of approximately 8.35 lakh MVR per year for Male
“India is very happy to bring to them benefits of these environment-friendly lights,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister reiterated his commitment to continue partnering with the Maldives for strengthening of democracy and development, a government statement said.
He said both the countries would enhance cooperation for peace and security in the Indian Ocean Region, the statement added.