Work on undersea cable to connect Andamans to begin in December

Project aims to carry 100Gb/s optical waves; precaution taken to safeguard environment

Updated - September 11, 2019 11:49 am IST

Published - September 11, 2019 01:41 am IST - CHENNAI

Work to install a 2,300-km undersea optical submarine cable system for high-speed internet connecting Andaman and Nicobar Islands to mainland India through Chennai will begin in December.

Japanese tech major, NEC Corporation, has been contracted by the BSNL to design, engineer, supply, install, test and implement the cable system.

“It (cable laying work) is scheduled to start in December 2019, and will be completed by the end of March 2020,” a spokesperson for NEC told The Hindu via e-mail.

The contract signed in July last year is for a system that includes a segment with repeaters from Chennai to Port Blair and seven segments without repeaters between the islands of Havelock, Little Andaman (Hutbay), Car Nicobar, Kamorta, the Great Nicobar island, Long Island and Rangat.

The project aims to carry 100Gb/s optical waves and is aimed at supporting voice and data connectivity to implement e-governance initiatives, assist educational institutes in sharing of knowledge and ensure that government services are made available to citizens electronically.

Marine survey

Asked what precautions the company was taking to ensure that marine life was not affected due to the project, the spokesperson said, “Before we begin to lay a submarine cable, it is first necessary to secure government permits and conduct marine surveys of the areas where the cable will pass.

In order to secure these permits and successfully complete the survey, we have to demonstrate that we are taking environmental conditions, such as marine life and habitats, into consideration.”

The spokesperson added that the company’s existing motivation to protect the integrity of the areas where it worked, together with the government's additionally specified protection measures, helps to ensure that ample precautions are taken to safeguard the environment.

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