The NITI Aayog has called a high-level meeting to discuss various proposals to tap the economic and Develop Andaman Tourism potential of islands that surround India’s coastline. Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi is expected to chair the meeting, slated soon. Of the 1,300-odd islands that surround India, the Aayog has identified 10 in Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshwadeep for holistic development.
The Aayog in a presentation made to the Prime Minister said it formed five inter-ministerial groups to identify islands. Of the list of 20 islands, the Aayog picked 10 that can be taken up in the first phase to be developed. Among the islands the Aayog has identified are the Smith Island, Ross Island, Avis Island and Long Island from Andaman & Nicobar. From Lakshadweep, the islands that have been identified include Bangaram, Thinnakara, Suheli, Cheriyam and Minicoy. Officials said the PM would review the progress made in pushing the idea of developing the islands as potential tourist destinations. On Monday, during a meeting to review the progress of infrastructure projects, Modi also directed officials to expedite the solar city project and development of unused airstrip as envisaged in the National Aviation Policy.
For the oil & gas sectors, officials said the PM was keen the potential of offshore and onshore exploration was fully tapped. He also sought the report of ethanol blending programme. In August 2015, the government had decided to boost ethanol production by making 10 per cent blending with petrol mandatory. The decision is likely to benefit cash-starved sugar mills, which owe Rs 14,000 crore dues to cane growers. The Prime Minister was informed that 150 million households were covered under direct benefit transfer for LPG in FY16. In the new and renewable energy sector, the cumulative installed capacity has crossed 44,000 Mw.
The Prime Minister was briefed on plans and strategies to further boost solar energy production, including through rooftop generation, an official statement said. The Indian Railways has achieved a target of daily passenger movement of 22.5 million. As many as 240 unmanned crossings have been eliminated between April and June this year in the ports sector. There has been considerable progress in average vessel turnaround time.
Top officials from various infrastructure sector ministries, NITI Aayog, and the Prime Minister’s Office attended the meeting. (Source: Internet)