Govt to in­vest Rs 15k cr in An­daman & Ni­co­bar

The Sunday Guardian - - & Comment Analysis - IANS

PORT BLAIR: Ac­knowl­edg­ing the strate­gic im­por­tance of the An­daman and Ni­co­bar Is­lands, the cen­tral gov­ern­ment plans to in­vest Rs 15,000 crore for var­i­ous de­vel­op­men­tal projects here, it was an­nounced on Sat­ur­day.

Road Trans­port and High­ways Min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari an­nounced that out of this, projects worth Rs 10,000 crore have al­ready com­menced.

The an­nounce­ment came af­ter Gad­kari and Home Min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh on Fri­day laid the foun­da­tion stones for a se­ries of projects in the is­lands, a state­ment from the Ship­ping Min­istry said.

Dur­ing the event, Ra­j­nath Singh said the gov­ern­ment was de­vel­op­ing the is­lands while ac­knowl­edg­ing their “strate­gic im­por­tance”.

He added that India was emerg­ing as a pow­er­ful nation in terms of econ­omy and se­cu­rity, and that no nation could desta­bilise it “as the gov­ern­ment was strength­en­ing the se­cu­rity on all fronts”.

The Home Min­is­ter added that out of the 1,382 is­lands in the coun­try, 10 have been se­lected for in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, out of which five were lo­cated in the A&N Is­lands.

Singh added that an Is­land De­vel­op­ment Agency (IDA) has been cre­ated for tak­ing care of the de­vel­op­ment and se­cu­rity of these is­lands.

Gad­kari added that tourism sec­tor had good prospects in the is­lands and that bet­ter roads, round the clock power and good ho­tels were needed to boost tourism, which will also gen­er­ate em­ploy­ment for the youth.

Among the projects for which the foun­da­tion stones were laid in­cluded re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and upgra­da­tion of NH-4 to two- lanes from Austin Creek to Kalara at Diglipur, and BeodnabadFer­rar­gunj sec­tion of the NH-4 at Baratang.

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