The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on 30 June 2018 reviewed the progress towards holistic development of islands. Noticeably, the Union Government had constituted the Islands Development Agency on June 1st, 2017, which had identified 26 islands for holistic development.
Here, NITI Aayog made a presentation on the elements of holistic development, including key infrastructure projects, digital connectivity, green energy, desalination plants, waste management, promotion of fisheries, and tourism-based projects.
Reviewing the work done in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Prime Minister emphasised on the need for developing an integrated tourism-centric ecosystem, in the areas identified for tourism development. PM called for expeditious pursuit of energy self-sufficiency in the islands, which could be based on solar energy.
In fact, Prime Minister was also briefed on the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs, to dispense with the requirement of Restricted Area Permit for foreigners visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Also, Greater connectivity of these islands with South East Asia was also discussed during the high level review.Further, development work in Lakshadweep, the Prime Minister was apprised of the steps taken to boost Tuna fishing, and the promotion of “Lakshadweep Tuna” as a brand. The Prime Minister appreciated Lakshadweep’s initiatives on cleanliness.
Development of vital infrastructure in both Andaman and Nicobar islands, as well as in Lakshadweep was discussed. The Prime Minister asked the concerned officials to explore the possibility of seaweed cultivation, and other initiatives which could be of help for the agriculture sector. The meeting was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the Lt. Governors of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep, CEO NITI Aayog, and senior officials from the Union Government.