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Lakshadweep to open three uninhabited islands for tourists

An aerial view of an island in Lakshadweep. Photo: K.K. Mustafah

An aerial view of an island in Lakshadweep. Photo: K.K. Mustafah  

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Each of these tiny islands occupy an area of about 40—50 hectares of land and is devoid of any human settlement so far

Ever imagined holidaying in a spectacular beach resort island where no one lives?

Lakshadweep has now decided to open three uninhabited islands exclusively for tourists after building beach resorts and water sports facilities.

“Thinnakkara, Suheli Par and Cherium are the three new islands in Lakshadweep where we are now planning to build tourism infrastructure at a total cost of Rs 60 crore,” Lakshadweep tourism department’s assistant director A M Hussain told PTI here.

Each of these tiny islands occupy an area of about 40—50 hectares of land and is devoid of any human settlement so far but have glistering silver sand beaches and abundant marine life, coral reefs in particular.

“They are completely virgin and serene islands and that is why they will be so special for tourists who are looking for exclusivity in their trip. The charm of staying here would be unparalleled,” Hussain said.

The sandy beaches have clear and unpolluted water, unlike other beaches of India.

The union territory’s tourism department will built resorts here on a PPP (public—private—partnership) model, the tenders for which will be out in the next few months.

Giving adventure—loving tourists adrenaline rush, water sports facilities planned on these islands include scuba diving, jet ski watercrafts, snorkeling, rafting, windsurfing, deep—sea fishing, yatching, etc.

The official said they are hoping that in the next year the new islands would be ready to welcome tourists.

Lakshadweep is located in the Arabian Sea, around 220—440 km away from the coast of Kerala. The archipelago consists of a total number of 36 islands out of which there are only 6 islands which have resorts for tourists.

As an adventure sport and nature tourism destination, it offers premier dive spots, rich eco—system, marine wealth, coral reefs, silver sand beaches, virgin environment and pristine water.

Since it’s an ecologically—sensitive area due to the presence of coral reefs and marine life, the tourism department has marketed Lakshadweep only as a niche tourism area.

The islands are connected by sea and air from Kochi and Calicut. The tourism department is planning to procure two new ships to handle the increasing tourism pressure and buy 2 liver boats for Rs 2 crore each. The ships would cost around Rs 250 crore, Hussain said.

They are also trying to start operating sea planes which are capable of taking off and landing on water.

“Ours is a high—value but low—volume tourist destination.

We ensure that the fragile ecology of Lakshadweep is not damaged by tourism,” tourism dept officials said.

Last year, there were only 17000 tourists to the chain of islands.

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Printable version | Jul 21, 2018 7:06:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/in-school/news-bytes/lakshadweep-to-open-three-uninhabited-islands-for-tourists/article5851451.ece