Defence minister denies Indian offer to build Thilafalhu dockyard

Minister of Defence Mohamed Nazim has told local media that no official offer from India to build a dock yard in the Maldives has been received.

Following reports in the Indian media last week that India’s Army Chief General Bikram Singh has offered to build a dockyard worth MVR 7.7 billion (US$ 500 million) in the Maldives during his official visit, Nazim told Haveeru that the job would not be awarded to a foreign military.

Nazim did say that many offers had been received for the Uthuru Thilafalhu lagoon project, in the archipelago’s north, but that no decision had yet been made.

Reclamation work is already underway in the area. Once completed, it will serve as the Maldivian Coastguard’s primary operations base and will provide a much-needed berthing space to naval ships and ocean liners.

India’s Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, during a visit to the Maldives in February, visited the Uthuru Thilafalhu project site.