Monalika Medatwal reports on this topic…
India has planned a Rs 3,600- crore-plus infrastructure upgrade for the Lakshadweep islands to transform them into a tourist hub. The development includes the establishment of port facilities at Androth, Kalpeni, and Kadamat islands, as vell as the construction of beachfront and peripheral roads at Kadamat Island (East), Agatti Island (East), and Kavaratti Island.
According to an ET report, the funds for these projects will be sourced from the Sagarmala scheme for port development.
A total of 13 projects have been identified for the 36 Lakshadweep islands, which cover an area of 32 square kilometres and are located 220-440 km off the Kerala coast in the Arabian Sea Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had previously announced in her Interim Budget 2024 speech a focus on developing port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and amenities on the islands, including Lakshadweep, to promote domestic tourism and generate employment.
The Sagarmala plan was launched in July 2015 and is a central sector scheme of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways. It aims to promote port-led development in India by harnessing the country’s coastline, potentially navigable waterways, and strategic location on international maritime trade routes.
Under the Sagarmala scheme, financial assistance is provided to projects with high social impact, even if they have low internal rate of return. So far, a total of 171 projects worth Rs 4,525 crore have received support, with 55 projects already completed. There are more than 800 projects worth Rs 5.8 lakh crore that are planned for implementation under the Sagarmala scheme, of which 241 projects worth Rs1.22 lakh crore have been completed.