The government has chosen ten islands in Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar for their holistic development in the first phase of work being done by newly constituted Island Development Agency (IDA), it was announced on Monday. Smith, Ross, Aves, Long and Little Andaman in Andaman and Nicobar while Minicoy, Bangaram, Suheli, Cherium and Tinnakara in Lakshadweep are among those selected in the first IDA meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh here on Sunday after detailed consultations with key stakeholders, a Home Ministry statement said. The IDA was set-up on June 1 following the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s review meeting.
In the meeting, Rajnath Singh presented the vision for developing India’s maritime economy while preserving the natural eco-system and addressing the security concerns. He also emphasised upon the need for sustainable development of islands with people’s participation.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant made a detailed presentation on the current status and the way forward for holistic development of identified islands. He said that concept development plans and detailed master plans are being prepared for identified islands with principles of sustainability, people’s participation, eco-system preservation and determination of carrying capacity as the guiding principles. “Such an exercise is being taken up for the first time in the country,” Amitabh Kant said.
IDA Chairman and former Navy chief, Admiral D.K. Joshi (retd.), suggested taking up suitable interventions for sustainable implementation of planned projects. During the meeting, the progress being made for the formulation of integrated master plans and other matters concerning the islands development were reviewed, the statement said.
“It was also decided that Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Administrator of Lakshadweep Islands will be included as members of IDA,” the statement further said, adding with this meeting, the efforts for holistic development of islands of India received a major boost. Other members of the IDA including the Cabinet Secretary, Home Secretary, Environment Secretary, Tourism Secretary and Tribal Welfare Secretary also participated in the meeting.