Infrastructure News

‘2024 will be transformational year for Andaman and Nicobar Islands’, ET Infra

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PORT BLAIR: Andaman and Nicobar Islands Lt. Governor Admiral DK Joshi has said 2024 will be a transformational year for this beautiful archipelago especially for the tourism and hospitality sectors. Inaugurating the Island Tourism Festival (ITF) here on Wednesday, Admiral Joshi said, “I believe tourism and hospitality will give unprecedented impetus to the islands.”

Admiral Joshi, who is also the vice-chairman of the Islands Development Agency (IDA), said, “To promote the tourism and the hospitality sector, it is important to improve infrastructure. In the last couple of years, we drew attention towards improving the infrastructure to woo investors. Recently, we held an investor conference in Delhi and got a very good response.”

Highlighting the recent infrastructure development in the islands, Admiral Joshi announced that two more greenfield airports are in the pipeline including one in Port Blair (apart from the existing Veer Savarkar International Airport) and another in Great Nicobar.

For better inter-island connectivity to promote tourism, the Lt. Governor said selection of operators for three sea ports at Long Island, Shaheed Dweep, Swaraj Dweep and for UDAN scheme at Diglipur, Car Nicobar, Campbell Bay and Great Nicobar has been finalised.

“Infrastructure improvement is going on and these flight services will be operational soon,” he said.

“Except for two years in the past including one during Covid, our annual tourist arrivals are very impressive. By December 31, we are expecting that the tourist footfall will cross the 5 lakh mark,” he said.

“In the last 5-6 years, the central government has approved Rs 95,000 crore funds for infrastructure development of this island and therefore 2024 will be a transformational year,” the Lt. Governor said.

“Some of the projects have already been completed (Humphrey Strait Creek Bridge, New Airport Terminal Building, undersea cable etc), while the rest (Great Nicobar project, Middle Strait Bridge etc) will be operational soon. There was some delay in the doubling of national highway but work is going on to expedite the project and soon travelling time from North to South Andaman will be reduced to 4-5 hours from the existing 10-12 hours,” he said.

Admiral Joshi commended the entire administrative team for organising the ITF and said if required, there will be more than one such festival in future involving artists from mainland (apart from local artists) to promote tourism and hospitality sector.

The department of information, publicity and tourism in association with the department of art and culture is organising the five-day festival from December 27 to December 31 in 15 venues across the islands.

This year, the star attraction will be the performance of renowned percussionist Thetakudi Harihara Vinayakram popularly known as Vikku Vinayakram and Indian classical dancer and Padma Shri Madhavi Mudgal on December 29.

  • Published On Dec 28, 2023 at 11:53 AM IST

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