Great Nicobar Island, the southernmost and largest of the Nicobar Islands of India, will get a trans-shipment port with investment of INR 10,000 crore, announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.
The new port will facilitate large ships to anchor, thereby contributing and increasing the country’s share in maritime trade. The creation of the trans-shipment port is also primed to create new employment opportunities.
He reiterated that as far as development is concerned, the Centre’s focus is to reduce the “distance” between Delhi and other parts of the country.
The PM also underlined that 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’ and simplifying maritime logistics.
For years, Indian ports have lost out to Colombo, which is a major trans-shipment hub in the region and the proposed transshipment port seems as a likely alternative; given its location and its proximity to the channel connecting China, Japan and Australia.
PM 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.
Under the country’s new trade strategy for Indo-Pacific region, the PM also highlighted how the islands of India would be playing a significant role.
Under the Act-East policy, Andaman and Nicobar islands will play a key role in India’s strong relations with east Asian countries and other countries connected to the sea and it is will only increase in the coming days.
The Prime Minister inaugurated the 2,300-km-long submarine optical fibre cable (OFC) connecting Andaman and Nicobar Islands with Chennai, which is deemed to bring rapid net and telephone connectivity to the archipelago.
He said with the submarine OFC connectivity will improve ‘ease of living’ and will provide the necessary impetus to tourism. He also acknowledged the importance of internet connectivity and said that added internet connectivity will be the key to promoting tourism.
A detailed project report (DPR) was prepared several years ago for developing the trans-shipment port at South Bay in Great Nicobar Island. The Island Development Authority has already awarded the task of re-evaluating the DPR to WAPCOS, which is a public sector undertaking under the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti