Malé, Maldives – Indian High Commission on Maldives has stated that it is likely that commercial flight connectivity may commence soon between India and Addu City.
Following the news of the Indias proposal to establish a Consulate in Addu City, Indian High Commission in Maldives stated that light connectivity may commence soon considering the growing people to people contact and rising trade and economic engagement.
Indian High Commission also stated that if there is an Indian Consulate in Addu that visa works for medical and education purposes could be handled in Addu and that this would save costs and time for residents of Addu and other Southern atolls.
They also stated that there are also large number of beneficiaries of scholarships, both under ITEC and ICCR scholarship schemes, who come from the Southern atolls if the consulate is established and that interviewees will also be able to do their interview and visa formalities in Addu, thus obviating the need to travel to Malé.
High Commission had also told that if and when the Government of Maldives approves the proposal for setting up an Indian Consulate in Addu, that a suitable location will be identified in Addu that will enable the local communities to access the Consulate without restrictions.
Currently projects worth about USD 200 million are being carried out in Addu. These include the Addu Roads, Addu Reclamation, and Gan Airport Redevelopment project under Indian Line of Credit and India’s largest grant project in the Maldives – the National College for Police and Law Enforcement. In addition to this, three island fisheries units, and, five eco-tourism projects are also being implemented under Indian grants for community development.
According to Indian High Commission, these projects will not only give fillip to local economy but also promote local employment. India is also providing grant assistance for a Drug Detox Centre which is progressing very fast. Maldives Shipping Service (MSS) had also started a direct cargo ferry service between Tuticorin and Addu in December 2020.
India’s Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the opening of a new Consulate General of India in Addu City, Maldives in May 25, 2021.
Although the government of Maldives has yet to approve the establishment of an Indian consulate in Addu City, Mayor Nizar stated that Addu City Council will provide full support in the matter as it is an important decision made regarding the development of Addu.
If the government accepts the offer to establish an Indian consulate in Addu City, then it will be the first time in Maldives’ history that a diplomatic mission of a foreign country will be opened in an island other than the capital Malé city.