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10 Islands From Andaman and Nicobar Lakshdweep Identified For Development

NEW DELHI: The Centre in nine months from now is looking at coming up with an Integrated Island management Plan that will focus on developmental work in ten islands from Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshdweep for improving maritime economy, preserving the eco-system and addressing security concerns.

This plan includes all-round development of Diglipur island in Andaman and Nicobar and building an airport in Minicoy in Lakshadweep.

On Monday, a first of a kind meeting of the newly- constituted Islands Development Agency (IDA), chaired by Union home minister Rajnath Singh was held that was attended by cabinet secretary, home secretary, secretary (environment, forests and climate change), secretary (tourism) and secretary (tribal welfare).

The IDA was set up this year following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s review meeting for the development of islands.

The ten islands chosen from a total of 1382 mapped by the government, include Smith, Ross, Aves, Long and Little Andaman in Andaman and Nicobar and Minicoy, Bangaram, Suheli, Cherium and Tinnakara in Lakshadweep. These islands will be divided and developed in three packages, said home ministry officials.

Two private consultancy companies have been hired and a sustainable development report is expected in the next nine months, said a senior official, adding that Niti Aayog is closely associated in the planning. During the meeting, home minister Rajnath Singh presented the vision for developing India’s maritime economy while preserving the natural eco-system.

“Considering the proximity to bay of bengal and the Arabian sea and countries such as Pakistan, these islands are important to us from the security point of view,” an official said.