PM dedicates undersea cable link to Andaman and Nicobar to nation
10 August 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today dedicated to the nation the submarine optical fibre cable (OFC) connecting Andaman & Nicobar Islands to the mainland through video conferencing. The PM had laid the foundation stone for this project on 30 December 2018 at Port Blair.
Announcing the launch of the submarine cable system, Prime Minister Modi said the connectivity would now open up endless opportunities in the islands. He said the laying of the 2300 km submarine cable and completing it before the set target is praise worthy.
The prime minister said that the service had begun today on a major chunk of the islands from Chennai to Port Blair, Port Blair to Little Andaman and Port Blair to Swaraj Island.
Modi admired the work of laying of cables for about 2,300 kilometers under the sea as surveying in the deep sea, maintaining the quality of the cable and laying of the cable with specialised vessels are not an easy tasks. The project also had to overcome challenges such as high waves, storms and monsoons and the tough times owing to corona pandemic.
The prime minister said the Andaman & Nicobar Islands felt the need for years but no steps were taken to fulfil it. Modi expressed his happiness for being able to deliver the project notwithstanding such major challenges.
He congratulated all those who were associated with the project.
The prime minister said the government is committed to provide modern facilities to every citizen and every sector so that there can be a better ease of living. He said this Optical Fibre Project which links A&N Islands with the rest of the country is an example of the commitment of the Government towards ease of living. He said the Government is committed to the speedy development of national security linked border areas and island states.
Modi said the submarine cable will help A&N in getting cheaper and better connectivity and all the benefits of Digital India, especially in improving online education, tele-medicine, banking system, online trading and in boosting tourism.
PM said that the Indian Ocean has been the centre of India's trade and strategic prowess for thousands of years and that Andaman & Nicobar is an important centre for India’s Economic-Strategic Cooperation.
He said all the Islands of India would be playing an important role under India’s new trade strategy for Indo-Pacific region.
Modi said under the Act-East policy, the role of Andaman and Nicobar in India's strong relations with East Asian countries and other countries connected to the sea is very high and is going to increase.
He said that the Island Development Agency was formed 3 years ago to strengthen its role. He said that the projects which were not completed in Andaman and Nicobar for years, are now rapidly getting completed.
PM said that High Impact Projects are being expanded in 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar. Apart from providing for better internet and mobile connectivity, he said the effort is to further improve physical connectivity through road, air and water.
The prime minister referred to the work on two major bridges and the NH-4 in order to improve road connectivity of North and Middle Andaman.
He said the Port Blair Airport is being enhanced to handle 1,200 passengers. Along with this the airports are ready for operations in Diglipur, Car Nicobar and Campbell - Bay.
Modi said the passenger terminal in Swaraj Dweep, Shaheed Dweep and Long Island along with Water Aerodrom Infrastructure like Floating Jetty will be ready in the coming months.
He said that the 4 Ships being built at Kochi Shipyard shall be delivered soon to improve the water connectivity between the islands and the mainland.
He said Andaman & Nicobar will be developed as a hub of port-led development as it is at a competitive distance from many ports of the world.
The prime minister said a country which has better network of ports and their connectivity will be able to provide a boost to trade in the 21st century.
He said when India is moving forward with the resolve of self-sufficiency and is establishing itself as an important player in the global supply and value chain, it is very important to strengthen our network of waterways and our ports. Modi said that the legal bottlenecks in the development of port infrastructure are also being removed continuously.
PM said the government's focus is also on promoting Ease of Business in the sea and simplifying maritime logistics. He referred to the speedy construction of the deep draft inner harbor and the proposal to construct transshipment port in Great Nicobar at an estimated cost of about Rs10,000 crore. Modi said this would enable big ships to anchor and would increase India’s share in maritime trade, along with new employment opportunities.
He said the blue economy like fisheries, aquaculture and seaweed farming in the island will accelerate in commensurate with the modern infrastructure being developed in Andaman and Nicobar. He hoped that the efforts of the government will give Andaman and Nicobar not only new facilities but also a prominent place on the World Tourist Map.