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Developing 4 Andaman & Nicobar islands gains steam

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: February 5, 2018  | 16:57 IST

Kolkata, Feb 5 (PTI) The Centres initiative for holistic development of four islands in the Andaman & Nicobar islands has gained steam with the consultant preparing a master plan on them is due to submit its report soon, a top chamber official has said.

"NITI Aayog has begun the preparatory process for a Concept Development Plan and detailed Master Plan for the holistic development of four islands in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Consultants appointed for this purpose visited these Islands. We came to know that the reports are in the final stage of submission to NITI Aayog," Andaman Chamber of Commerce & Industry president Girish Arora told PTI.

He said the chamber is also suggesting the government to include Andamans as one of the 10 iconic sites of the country announced in the Union Budget, he said.

NITI Aayog has identified Ross & Smith Island, Long Island, Avis Island and Little Andaman as part of NITI Aayog master plan as drivers of tourism and sustainable economic development.

A few Lakhadweep islands are also part of the development programme.

Tourism is a main revenue stream for the islanders and the chamber expects Andamans will get a major boost if it is included as one of the 10 circuits.

"Once it is implemented under the Holistic Development Scheme, the islands will have planned development. More infrastructures will be created, more job avenues opened that will boost rural economy," Arora said.

He said the action of the framework to encourage seaplanes and raising the capacity of airports five times will all help in the growth of tourism.

Spicejet had recently announced it has placed a major order for seaplanes aiming to connect unserved locations.

An important step by the government towards undertaking a holistic approach in developing the islands has been the establishment of the ?Island Development Agency? in 2017. PTI BSM JM

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