Prime Minister's Office

English rendering of PM’s address at the inauguration of Submarine Cable Connectivity to Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Posted On: 10 AUG 2020 12:23PM by PIB Delhi

My greetings to the land of freedom struggle for India’s independence, Andaman and Nicobar and its people!!!

This day is important not only for lakhs of friends living in dozens of islands of Andaman and Nicobar, but also for the whole country.


Friends,

 

Saluting Subhas Chandra Bose, I had the opportunity to launch the work for the Submarine Optical Fibre Cable Connectivity Project about one and a half years ago. I am glad that its work is now complete and today I am also fortunate to dedicate this project. This service has been started today from Chennai to Port Blair, Port Blair to Little Andaman and Port Blair to Swaraj Island, in a large part of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


I congratulate the people of Andaman & Nicobar Islands for this facility and connectivity filled with endless opportunities. My best wishes to you. I see this as a loving gift to the people of Andaman in the week before 15 August, before Independence Day.

Friends,

 

The completion of this work of laying of cables for about 2300 kilometres distance within the sea ahead of time is itself very commendable. It is not so easy to do survey in deep sea, or to maintain the quality of the cable, and laying the cable through special ships. On top of that, there were hurdles like high waves, storms and monsoon. The challenges were as formidable as this project. This was also one of the reasons why despite the need of this facility for years, it could not be worked on. But I am glad that this work has been completed, overcoming all the obstacles. Even a crisis like Corona, which stalled everything, could not stop the completion of this work.

Friends,

 

It was the responsibility of the country to provide modern telecom connectivity to the hard working citizens of the place which is so important for the past, present and future of the country. Through a highly dedicated team and team spirit an age-old dream has been fulfilled. I also congratulate every person associated with this project.


Friends,

 

Such a challenging task can be accomplished only when work is done with full commitment and full capacity. We have been dedicated to ensuring that mental and physical distances are bridged between Delhi and every person and region of the country; and modern facilities reach every person and region of the country to make their lives easier. We have also tried to ensure that there is rapid development of border areas and maritime border areas associated with the security of the nation.

Friends,

 

This optical fibre project connecting Andaman and Nicobar to the rest of the country and the world is a symbol of our commitment to Ease of Living. Now the people of Andaman and Nicobar will also be able to get the same affordable and good quality facilities of mobile connectivity and fast internet, of which India is the leader in the whole world today. Now the people, the sisters, children, youth, traders and businessmen of Andaman and Nicobar will also be able to get all the benefits of Digital India, which the people of the rest of the country are getting. Be it studying online, earning from tourism, banking, shopping or medicine, now thousands of families from Andaman and Nicobar will also be able to get these facilities online.

 

Friends,

 

The visiting tourists will also benefit a lot from the facilities that Andaman has got today. Better net connectivity has become the first priority of any tourist destination today. Earlier, the tourists of the country and the world used to face a lot of problems due to lack of mobile and internet connectivity. He was constantly cut off from his family and business. Now this problem is also going to end. Now the internet connectivity will be excellent, so I am sure that people will visit this place for a longer time. When people stay for a longer time, enjoy the sea of ​​Andaman and Nicobar and the food there, then it will have a huge impact on employment as well. New employment opportunities will also be created.

 

Friends,

 

Andaman and Nicobar is the main centre of India's Economic-Strategic Cooperation and Coordination. The Indian Ocean has been the centre of India's trade and strategic prowess for thousands of years. Now that India is following the new policy and practice of trade and cooperation in Indo-Pacific, the importance of our islands including Andaman and Nicobar has increased further. Under the Act-East policy, Andaman and Nicobar's role in developing India's strong relations with East Asian countries and other littoral countries is very high and is going to increase further. In New India, Island Development Agency was formed 3 years ago to strengthen this role of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Today, you are seeing that the projects which were not completed in Andaman and Nicobar for years are now rapidly getting completed.

 

Friends,

 

High Impact Projects are being expanded in 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar. A major problem related to mobile and internet connectivity has been resolved today. In addition, physical connectivity through road, air and water is also being strengthened. Work is underway for 2 major bridges and widening of NH-4 at a rapid pace to improve the road connectivity of North and Middle Andaman. Capacity to handle 1200 passengers at a time in Port Blair Airport is being developed and will be ready in the coming few months.

 

Apart from this, the airports at Diglipur, Car Nicobar and Campbell-Bay are also ready for operation. Water Aerodrome Infrastructure like Passenger Terminal, Floating Jetty in Swaraj Island, Shaheed Island and Long Island will also be ready in the coming months. After this, Sea Plane service will start here under the UDAN scheme. This will strengthen connectivity from one island to another and will also reduce your travel time.

 

Friends,

 

To increase the facility of water connectivity between the islands and the rest of the country, the 4 ships being built at Kochi Shipyard will also be delivered in the coming months. We are trying to ensure that in the next one year the facility of repairing large ships would be developed in the same island. This will save your time, reduce expenses and also create employment opportunities. This will also be of great benefit to the fisheries sector.

 

Friends,

 

Andaman and Nicobar Islands are going to develop as a hub of Port-led Development in the coming days. Andaman & Nicobar is located at a very competitive distance from many ports of the world. Today, the whole world understands that the country with better network of ports and their connectivity will boost the trade of the 21st century. In such a situation, the work related to infrastructure in Andaman and Nicobar will take it to new heights of development.

 

Friends,

 

Today as India is moving ahead with the resolve of self-sufficiency and is busy in establishing itself as an important player of Global Supply and Value Chain, as a Global Manufacturing Hub, it becomes very important to further strengthen our network of Waterways and Ports. The work being done for Port Development and Port-led Development for the last 6-7 years is giving new strength to the country.

 

Today, we are building a large network of river waterways, connecting large sea ports to the land-locked states of the country. The legal hurdles in the development of Port Infra are also being removed continuously. Government's focus is also on promoting Ease of doing Business in the sea and simplifying Maritime Logistics. Work is also underway to develop the world's largest single window platform.

 

Friends,

Due to many such efforts, now both the capacity and the capabilities of the country's port network are expanding. After a long wait for 3 decades, India's first deep draft green-field sea port in the West Coast has been given in-principle approval. Similarly, construction of deep draft inner harbour in the East Coast is also going on at a rapid pace.

 

It is now proposed to construct a Trans Shipment Port in Great Nicobar at an estimated cost of about Rs 10 thousand crores. Our target is to complete its first phase in the coming 4-5 years. Once this port is ready, big ships will also be able to anchor here. This will increase India's share in maritime trade and provide new opportunities to our youth.

 

Friends,

 

The modern infrastructure being developed in Andaman and Nicobar today will also boost the blue economy.  Fisheries, Aquaculture and Sea Weed farming are an important part of the Blue Economy. The benefits of Seaweed are being discussed in the world today. Many countries are exploring its potential. I am happy that the results of the pilot project in Port Blair to explore its potential in Andaman and Nicobar are encouraging. Now studies have been started to promote its cultivation in the islands. If these experiments are successful on a large scale, then it can be expanded to other places in the country. This will especially benefit our fishermen. I hope that our efforts in this decade will not only provide new facilities to Andaman-Nicobar, but also to the people of the world, and it will also find a prominent place in the World Tourist Map.

 

Once again, I congratulate all the people of Andaman & Nicobar Islands for this modern facility of mobile phone and internet connectivity. And now amid the Corona pandemic, I pray for you to stay healthy and safe. I also wish for your family to stay healthy. In this times of Corona, always follow social distancing or ‘do gaz doori' and keep moving forward.

 

I have got the opportunity to salute you and this land of freedom struggle today before 15th August. I also congratulate all of you for this great occasion held before August 15, before the celebration of Independence Day and I invite you to come forward for leapfrogging to a bright future.

 

Thanks a lot!

 

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VRRK/KP



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