Rs 650 crore investment expected in Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep Islands

New Delhi, April 25, 2018

The Restricted Area Permit regime will be relaxed for tourism promotion and investment worth Rs 650 crore is expected in various projects in Andaman & Nicobar (A&N) and Lakshadweep islands.  
This was revealed at the third meeting of the Island Development Agency (IDA) chaired by  Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh here yesterday.
The meeting reviewed the progress made towards preparation of Development Plans for identified Islands (four in A&N Islands-- Smith, Ross, Long, Avis and five in Lakshadweep -- Minicoy, Bangaram, Thinnakara, Cheriyam, Suheli), an official press release said.
For these Islands, Final Site Suitability Reports have been prepared, Carrying Capacity determined and Environmental zoning carried out to ensure sustainable development.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant made a detailed presentation of action taken in pursuance of decisions taken in earlier meetings. The Union Home Minister expressed satisfaction at the progress made since the meeting held on November 8, 2017, when directions were given to identify additional Islands for sustainable development and also accord priority to key infrastructure projects.
NITI Aayog, in consultation with the UT Administrations has identified additional islands or locations for planning of suitable projects aimed at creation of more jobs for the Islanders. Community-based tourism will also be promoted.
Of these locations, 12 are in Andaman and Nicobar -- North Passage, Cinque, Inglis, Viper, Neil (Bharatpur Beach), Ramnagar Beach, Karmatang Beach, Dhaninallah Beach, Kalipur Beach, Rutland, North Bay and Great Nicobar - B Quarry. Five are in Lakshadweep-- Kalpeni, Kadmat, Agatti, Chetlat and Bitra.
Key infrastructure projects such as creation of jetties/berthing facilities, Roll-on/Roll-off ships; Bridges on Andaman Trunk Road;, upgrading of Diglipur Airport and  construction of Minicoy Airport were being given priority, the release said.
Modernization of existing jetty at Kavaratti, augmentation of satellite bandwidth from 1.118 Gbps to 2.118 Gbps in Andaman & Nicobar, augmentation of helicopter services for islanders and tourists, and so on, also figure in the same list.
With better communication services, Information Technology based and other Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) would be promoted in the islands, it said.
Further, after carrying out systematic study, 18 projects, both in Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep, have been identified for implementation, out of which seven are ready for launch through PPP.
Three such projects in Andaman & Nicobar (one each in Long, Smith and Ayes Island) and three in Lakshadweep (one each in Suheli, Minicoy and Kadamat) are ready to be launched, the release said.
After implementation of these projects, an investment of about Rs. 650 crore is expected from the private sector. Preference would be given to the local people for employment. An investors' conference would be held in May this year, it said.
The Minister called upon all concerned to expedite implementation of ongoing key infrastructure projects in the islands, particularly for improving air, road and web connectivity, providing good quality drinking water to the residents and power supply.
He directed that designs of these projects be made in such a way to provide maximum benefits to the local population. He observed that development of Islands was first discussed in 1999 and now it was taking concrete shape. He appreciated collective efforts being made by all the Ministries for holistic and sustainable development of Islands.
The meeting was attended by Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Administrator of Lakshadweep, Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
Secretary Defence, Secretary Tourism, Secretary, Tribal Affairs and other Senior Officers of Central Ministries of Tourism, Power, Defence, Health, Telecommunications and Civil Aviation also attended.
Vice-Chief of Naval Staff and Air Commodore from Indian Air Force were also present.
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