Great Nicobar Island will get a trans-shipment port with investment of Rs.10,000 crore, PM Narendra Modi said.
For years, Indian ports have lost out to Colombo, which is a major trans-shipment hub and the proposed facility may be an alternative given its location and is seen to be close to the channel connecting China, Japan and Australia.
While inaugurating the 2,300 km long submarine Optical Fibre Cable connecting Andaman and Nicobar Islands with Chennai, which will bring rapid net and telephone connectivity to the archipelago, Modi said the Centre’s focus is to reduce the “distance” between Delhi and other parts of the country, as far as development is concerned.
The PM said the aim is to ensure the islands are “not far away from Delhi and from the hearts of the mainland”, while adding that the focus is also on promoting ‘ease of business in the sea’.
Modi said the trans-shipment port would enable large ships to anchor and increase India’s share in maritime trade, while creating new employment opportunities.
A detailed project report was prepared several years ago for developing the trans-shipment port at South Bay in Great Nicobar Island. They added the Island Development Authority has awarded the task of re-validating the DPR to WAPCOS, a PSU under the Jal Shakti ministry.
Modi said islands of India would be plying an important role under the country’s new trade strategy for Indo-Pacific region. He added that under the Act-East policy, the role of Andaman in India's strong relations with east Asian countries and other countries connected to the sea is very high and is going to increase.
PM said the OFC connectivity will improve ‘ease of living’ and will boost tourism.