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NITI Aayog ready with a blueprint to bring Andaman and Lakshadweep to tourism map

By Vinod
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    New Delhi, Aug 11: With the interest and intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, NITI Aayog under the Incredible Islands Projects of India plans to develop Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands for which two project management agencies have been constituted.

    Andaman and Nicobar

    The government also wants to develop eco-tourism Projects in Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands.

    Sources informed that Andaman and Nicobar Islands Development Corporation Limited and the Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports, Lakshdweep have been earmarked as agencies that will be working to develop tourism prospects in these islands.

    As per the NITI Aayog, the development component included eco-tourism facility with the development of resorts, tents and tree houses besides other infrastructure components to support the facility.

    Sources said that to provide other facilities to tourists water desalination plant, solar power generation facility, necessary infrastructure for beach operations and floating jetty.

    Besides developing these facilities by the government, the involvement of potential for private sector like hotel revenue streams such as room rentals, food and beverage etc; banquet and conference services will also be looked into.

    Potential for other tourism activities such as scuba-diving, snorkeling, kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing, water surfing, para gliding, para sailing, paddle boating, yachting and game fishing are also being explored to be facilitated.

    And for all these facilities to be provided there, NITI Aayog has laid down the procedure of the appointment of development through a two stage international competitive bidding.

    This will be done first by short listing at RFQ stage, technical eligibility criteria based on relevant experience in hotel operation/ hotel ownership, financial eligibility criteria based on net worth, net cash accruals, optimum sharing of risks between developer and the government.

    The NITI Ayog sources also informed that there were seven ready to launch projects and four projects in pipeline that included two in Little Andaman and two water villa project in Lakshadweep Islands.

    Projects in Andaman and Nicobar Islands included beach resort in Long Islands, beach tents in Aves Islands, beach tents and tree houses at Smith Islands and beach resorts at Neil Islands.

    The NITI Aayog documents say that all tourism properties would have modern facilities and amenities and would be required to adhere to environmental and green building standers of Leeds, GRIHA and GREEN Globe.

    Sources said that necessary approvals would be provided upfront by the government. Application for CRZ approval already submitted.

    The government is developing Ro-Ro facility for greater connectivity and future investment opportunity in seaplane service, helicopter service and solar power etc is being explored.

    Projects in Lakshadweep included beach resorts in Minicoy, Suheli and Kadamat Islands. Eco-tourism project is another area where these islands are being explored and the government will provide all facilities to develop eco-tourism there that will not only attract tourists from domestic but international tourists.

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