Delhi consolidates Indian Ocean outreach, creates infra projects in Mauritius & Maldives

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Mauritius will jointly inaugurate the new Supreme Court building of Mauritius on Thursday.

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In October 2019, Prime Minister Modi and the PM of Mauritius had jointly inaugurated the Phase -I of the Metro Express Project and the new ENT Hospital project in Mauritius.
NEW DELHI: Expanding Delhi’s Western Indian Ocean outreach as part of Indo-Pacific vision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Mauritius will jointly inaugurate the new Supreme Court building of Mauritius on Thursday.

The inauguration is scheduled to take place through video-conference in presence of senior members of Judiciary from Mauritius and other dignitaries from both the countries. The building has been constructed with Indian grant assistance and will be the first India assisted infrastructure project within the capital city of Port Louis.

The new Supreme Court building project is one of the five projects being implemented under the ‘Special Economic Package’ of $ 353 million extended by the Government of India to Mauritius in 2016, officials informed. The project has been completed within schedule and below expected costs.


The building is spread over an area of more than 4700 sqm with over 10 floors and a built up area of around 25,000 sqm. The building flaunts a modern design and green features with focus on thermal and sound insulation and high energy efficiency. The new building will bring all divisions and offices of the Supreme Court of Mauritius into a single building improving its efficiency, officials informed.

In October 2019, Prime Minister Modi and the PM of Mauritius had jointly inaugurated the Phase -I of the Metro Express Project and the new ENT Hospital project in Mauritius, also built under the special economic package, officials informed.

Under Phase-I of Metro Express project, construction of 12 km of metro-line was completed in September last year, while work on its Phase -2 envisaging 14 km of metro-line is ongoing. Through the ENT Hospital project, India assisted in construction of a 100 bed state of the art ENT hospital in Mauritius.
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The successful and timely completion of India assisted high quality infrastructure projects in Mauritius shall also create greater opportunities for Indian companies in Mauritius and in the region, officials explained.

Meanwhile, Indian High Commissioner to Maldives Sunjay Sudhir handed over a symbolic cheque to mark implementation of 9 projects in the Maldives under the High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDP) scheme on Tuesday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and Members of Parliament from Addu City and Hoarafushi also participated in the ceremony.

It may be recalled that a bilateral MoU on HICDPs was signed during the visit of former External Affairs Minister of India late Mrs Sushma Swaraj in March 2019. Under this, a total grant of MVR 85 million ($ 5.6 million) was announced for executing high-impact grant projects in the Maldives. This is in addition to a cash grant of MVR 106 million (approx. $ 7 million) extended during the same visit for execution of small projects.
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As the name suggests, these projects chosen by the Government of Maldives through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are those that have a high-level of community impact and participation in the areas of livelihood and income generation, health, education, gender and child empowerment, sports, sustainable development, officials informed.

Under the HICDP scheme, MoUs were concluded in December 2019 for the construction of 3 Fish-processing Plants in Maradhoo, Hithadhoo and Hulhudhoo in Addu city. In February 2020, another 5 MoUs were signed for establishing the Addu Tourism Zone in Feydhoo, Meedhoo, Hithadhoo, Hulhudhoo and Maradhoo. A 6th MoU was also signed at the time to set up a bottled water plant in Hoarafushi.
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While Addu City Council is the Implementing Agency for the Fish-processing plants and eco-tourism projects, the Hoarafushi Council will steer the process for setting up of a bottled-water plant in Hoarafushi.

“Local Councils have done a splendid job in steering forward the HICDP projects despite the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic. Contracts for construction of the Fish-processing plants were awarded in a ceremony held in Addu on 22 July. The Addu City Council is also expected to soon award contracts for the 5 eco-tourism projects. A ground-breaking ceremony of the bottled-water plant is Hoarafushi is likely to be held in August,” an official said.

In his remarks on the occasion, High Commissioner underlined India’s comprehensive strategy of development cooperation with the Maldives. As decided during the visit of President Solih to India in December 2018, the strategy includes both big projects under the $ 800 million LoC and a large number of relatively small grant projects of cost not exceeding MVR 8 million each. While the LoC projects with a longer gestation period will contribute significantly to the development of infrastructure in the Maldives, the grant projects are expected to have an immediate and positive impact on the lives of the island communities.

Indian development assistance in the Maldives covers a wide swathe of sectors including fisheries, eco-tourism and sustainable development, sports infrastructure, coastal protection and includes projects such as procurement of vehicles and machinery for City councils, infrastructural upgrade of critical institutions, construction of school classrooms, development of community centers and parks including children's parks etc.

The larger LoC projects have, as their focus, development of infrastructure related to Water and Sanitation, Roads and Reclamation, Port, Cancer Hospital, Cricket Stadium, Airport development etc.

Highlighting the salient features of Indian projects, High Commissioner noted that these projects are transparent and demanddriven in nature with full ownership of Maldives. He elaborated that all processes including tendering, price negotiations, award of tenders, monitoring and execution was done by the Maldivian Ministries and agencies. This, he remarked, made the projects, of the Maldivians, by the Maldivians and for the Maldivians – a reflection of the democratic ideals cherished by the peoples of both Maldives and India.

HICDPs constitute an important dimension of the dynamic development partnership between India and the Maldives. These projects are driven by the needs of communities on the islands. They will be implemented by City and Local Councils and thus will enhance the capacities of locally-elected representatives and support the decentralisation efforts of the Government of Maldives.
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