The Centre has improved Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ defence against natural disasters and has put in place a Disaster Management Action Plan. These include an early warning and communication system to counter the threat of tsunamis, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said on Wednesday.
The system also includes 31 GPS strong motion sensors and accelerometer, a state emergency operation centre, an SMS alert dissemination system, and 13 automated weather stations to ease or mitigate the impact of devastating natural disasters, especially tsunamis.
The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 was catastrophic for the Islands as the sea gobbled up landmass and stripped Nicobar Island coast off its trees. The island’s mangrove growth bore the brunt of the tsunami.
While initial reports suggested a 60 to 70 per cent loss of mangrove cover, a 2018 study revealed that the tsunami had destroyed 97 per cent of the island’s mangrove cover.
The Centre has implemented several projects to promote the development of technological and infrastructure advancements in the Union Territory, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs said.
In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Rai said the Chennai Andaman Nicobar Islands Submarine Cable project was among the projects that had been recently implemented in the Union Territory. The project, which was fully commissioned in 2020, has enabled a fast and more reliable broadband and telecom service to be delivered, providing a fillip to tourism, economic activities, and e-governance in the Islands.
Rai added that air connectivity in the Islands has also received a boost following completion of infrastructure development for civil flights from Shibpur Airport. The central government has also undertaken several other infrastructure development projects to promote green energy in the Islands. These include commissioning of a solar power plant at Attam Pahad in the past year.