Island Development Agency approves holistic development of nine islands

New Delhi, November 9, 2017

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday reviewed the concept development plans and detailed master plans for the holistic development of nine islands.
Of these islands, four are in Andaman & Nicobar Islands -- Smith, Ross, Long and Avis -- and five in Lakshadweep -- Minicoy, Bangaram, Thinnakara, Cheriyam and Suheli, an official press release said.
 The project, steered by NITI Aayog, aims at promoting and implementing development based on a sustainable approach to building a thriving maritime economy of the project islands. 
Mr. Rajnath Singh, chairing the meeting,  expressed satisfaction at the progress made since the previous meeting on July 24 when directions were given to identify and execute infrastructure and connectivity projects together with provisioning of water and electricity. 
The meeting noted that site development potential reports have clearly mapped and delineated environmentally sensitive zones in the project islands and considering the unique maritime and territorial bio-diversity of the islands, enhanced connectivity has been recommended as one of the key priorities. 
Accordingly, it was decided that the Naval air station at Shibpur near Diglipur in northern Andaman & Nicobar Islands would be co-used as Joint User Airport. 
During the meeting, it was also decided to develop a PPP package, including an airport (Joint User Airport) at Minicoy Island, to unlock the tourism potential.  It was agreed to promote tuna fishing industry for improving livelihoods in Lakshadweep. 
Mr Rajnath Singh directed all concerned to expedite implementation of ongoing key infrastructure projects in the islands and develop community-based tourism in consultation with local stakeholders. 
NITI Aayog was also asked to drive the formulation of PPP projects and proposed detailed guidelines to boost private sector participation.
The IDA was set up on June 1, 2017, following the Prime Minister’s review meeting for the holistic development of islands.
The meeting was attended by Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Admiral D.K. Joshi, former Navy Chief (Vice Chairman of IDA), Cabinet Secretary P. K. Sinha, CEO, NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Secretary, Environment, Forest & Climate Change, C. K. Mishra and representatives of Ministries of Tourism, Power, Defence, Health, Telecommunications and Civil Aviation.
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