Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning inaugurated a 2,300 km undersea high-speed broadband project in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The submarine Optical Fibre Cable or OFC link – connecting Chennai and Port Blair – will boost network speed and enable delivery of more reliable mobile and landline telecom services to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a popular tourist destination.
The project will give a major boost to tourism, PM Modi said, calling it a “big day” for the union territory. The Prime Minister also said it was an “early Independence Day gift”.
“A pandemic such as coronavirus was not able to hinder our speed and the work was completed before time. It was the responsibility of the nation to provide people of Andaman and Nicobar with connectivity. This is an early gift for the people of Andaman and Nicobar on Independence Day,” PM Modi said this morning while inaugurating the project via video conferencing.
The Chennai-Andaman and Nicobar Islands submarine OFC project, which began about two years ago (in December 2018), is said to be a first-of-its-kind service in India. It is expected to give a boost to tourism, businesses, jobs, living standards, telemedicine, e-commerce and digital education.
Call drops have been frequent in the islands so far and internet connectivity speeds have been low and unreliable. The broadband speed, with this project, is expected to become ten times faster.
“Laying 2,300 km cable under sea and that too, before schedule, while also maintaining the quality of cable is a commendable job. This is not an easy project,” the Prime Minister said.
“In 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, high-impact projects are being expanded. A major issue of mobile and internet connectivity has been solved today, and we’re working towards solving road, air and water connectivity. Better internet connectivity is one of the first needs of any tourism hub. This problem has now been solved,” he added.
“Tourists will now be in no rush to return and thus, they will enjoy the sea-food and the islands. This will help tourism and employment in the region,” PM Modi stressed while dedicating the project to the nation, adding that the project is an “evidence” of the government’s “commitment to ease of living”.
“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 India’s strong relations with East Asian countries and other countries associated with the sea is crucial and it is going to increase,” PM Modi underlined during the video address.
The government is also working on a Rs 10,000 crore trans-shipment port project, expected to be completed in the next four-five years, he shared.
All the modern infrastructure that is being developed in Andaman Nicobar is a key aspect for blue economy, PM Modi said, adding: “A major part of blue economy is fisheries, aqua culture and sea-weed farming. Several countries are exploring the possibilities of sea-weed farming today.”