The National Defence Force of Maldives has denied reports claiming 40 Indian army officers were in the Maldives to set up a Hydrography Unit and run surveys.
MNDF’s Chief Spokesperson Major Ibrahim Azim stated that no hydrographic-related activities are currently ongoing and that no Indian army personnel was in the country to perform hydrographic surveys.
Although he noted that the Indian army would assist in setting up a hydrographic group, the surveys would most likely be performed at the earliest mid of next year, Azim said.
MNDF’s comments come a time when news of 40 Indian army personnel arriving to initiate surveys are circulating. The reports claim that for the reason, a sea ship will soon arrive in the Maldives, which will be donated to the Maldives afterward.
Referring to the statement, Azim said India would donate a grant-aid FIC patrol launch later this month and said its information would be shared soon.
The formation of a hydrographic unit was discussed during his recent visit to the Maldives between Chief of Defence Force Major General Abdulla Shamaal and Chief of Army of India General Bipin Rawat. During the time of former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, India and Maldives had similar discussions.
Hydrography is an applied science branch that deals with calculating and defining the physical characteristics of oceans, seas, coastal areas, and other water bodies. Its primary purpose is to ensure navigational health and support all other marine activities including economic development, security, and defense, scientific research and protection of the environment.