Male: Batting strongly against pro-government parties' efforts to reclaim Male International Airport from Indian firm GMR, former President Mohamed Nasheed said the move would cause "irrevocable" damage to the country.
Nasheed said that his government had awarded the airport to GMR to stop "rain leaks" into the airport and to develop it.
While addressing a rally, the ex-President stressed that in order to make the airport the most developed one in the region; it should be handed over to a company with the necessary skill and resources.
Nasheed also criticised the efforts of the pro-government parties to reclaim the airport from GMR.
He said everything in airport, key to the high-end Maldivian tourism, belongs to citizens of Maldives and the airport "won't be taken out of the country".
"Talk of taking the airport from GMR is highly irresponsible. All I can say is it could cause irrevocable damages to the Maldives," Nasheed was quoted as saying by Haveeru newspaper.
Indian infrastructure major GMR group's USD 500 million Male airport project has run into rough weather, with coalition partners making efforts to oust the firm.
Some coalition partners of the current regime headed by Mohamed Waheed also held a rally against GMR on November 3.
"Daily demonstrations are going on in Male against GMR. This organised daily demonstrations is mounting enormous pressure in this coalition government. Over 500 men and women participated in November 3 walk by," a senior Maldivian government official told PTI.
The airport contract was awarded to GMR through a 10-month long global competitive bidding process run by the then Maldivian government headed by Nasheed.
Nearly eight months after the regime change in Maldives, some Indian companies present there, including GMR, are blaming political interference for creating "undue challenges" for them.
First Published: Monday, November 5, 2012, 18:49