New Delhi, Apr 24 (PTI) An investment of Rs 650 crore is expected from private companies in tourism, MSME and IT sectors in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep, where the Central government has identified 26 islands for development, the Home Ministry said today.
The issue was discussed at a meeting of the Island Development Agency (IDA), chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The progress made towards preparation of development plans for identified islands was also reviewed.
After implementation of the development projects, investment of about Rs 650 crore is expected from the private sector, a statement from the ministry said.
Preference for employment would be given to local people and an investors’ conference would be held in May.
The IDA has identified four islands in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands — Smith, Ross, Long, Avis — and five in Lakshadweep — Minicoy, Bangaram, Thinnakara, Cheriyam, Suheli.
For these islands, final site suitability reports have been prepared, carrying capacity determined and environmental zoning carried out to ensure sustainable development.
Additional Islands or locations in 12 islands in Andaman and Nicobar (North Passage, Cinque, Inglis, Viper, Neil or Bharatpur Beach, Ramnagar Beach, Karmatang Beach, Dhaninallah Beach, Kalipur Beach, Rutland, North Bay and Great Nicobar) and five in Lakshadweep (Kalpeni, Kadmat, Agatti, Chetlat and Bitra) have been identified by the NITI Aayog in consultation with the UT administrations, for planning of suitable projects aimed at creation of more jobs for the Islanders.
Community-based tourism would be promoted benefiting the islanders, the statement said.
Key infrastructure projects such as creation of jetties or berthing facilities, roll-on/roll-off ships, bridges on Andaman Trunk Road, upgradation of Diglipur airport, construction of Minicoy airport, modernisation of the existing jetty in Kavarati, augmentation of satellite bandwidth from 1.118 Gbps to 2.118 Gbps in Andaman and Nicobar, augmentation of helicopter services for islanders and tourists, among others are being accorded priority, the meeting has been informed.
With better communication services, Information Technology and other Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) would be promoted in the islands, the statement said.
Further, after carrying out systematic study, 18 projects, both in the Andaman and Nicobar, and Lakshadweep, have been identified for implementation, out of which seven projects are ready for launch through Public Private Partnership.
Three such projects in the Andaman and 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 home 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.
Singh 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 is taking concrete shape.
The home minister appreciated collective efforts being made by all the ministries for holistic and sustainable development of the islands.
The meeting was attended by Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Administrator of Lakshadweep, Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, CEO of NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, secretaries of the ministries of defence, tourism, tribal affairs and other senior officers.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.