NATIONAL

7 islands in Andamans, Lakshadweep identified for seaplane operations

Four islands in the Andamans and three in Lakshadweep have been identified for seaplane operations, while private sector participation has been invited for tourism-based projects, the Home Ministry said on Tuesday.

The 5th meeting of the Island Development Agency, chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, also reviewed the progress made towards the programme ‘Holistic development of islands’.

Swaraj Dweep, Shaheed Dweep, Hutbay and Long Island in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Kavaratti, Agatti and Minicoy in Lakshadweep have been identified for seaplane operations.

Key infrastructure projects such as operationalisation of the Diglipur airport for civilian aircraft and the construction of a new airport on Minicoy Island have been accorded high priority by the government, while Coastal Regulation Zone clearance (CRZ) has been accorded for ‘Middle Strait Bridge’ on Andaman Trunk Road.

Bids for private sector participation in three tourism-based projects have already been invited by the Andaman & Nicobar Administration. They include eco-tourism projects on Smith Island and Long Island and a tent city project on Aves Island. Bids will be invited shortly for one more project on Neil Island.

Three projects in Lakshadweep have been identified for issue of bids. These include tourism projects in the islands of Kadmat, Minicoy and Suheli Cheriyakara. Environmental Clearance (EC), CRZ clearance and all other clearances required for these projects are being obtained upfront, on priority, to attract more number of reputed bidders, the statement said.

The Ministry of Commerce has issued a notification extending tax incentives for investments made in the manufacturing and service sector in the islands of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep.

In order to sustainably utilise the potential of Tuna fish, 10 deep-sea modern fishing vessels are being procured by the Lakshadweep administration from Cochin Shipyard Limited.

The Home Minister expressed satisfaction at the progress made since the last meeting held on June 30, 2018, when directions were given to focus on creation of recreational facilities along with tourism infrastructure, implementation of renewable energy projects, incentives for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and the development of a film city.