Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the role of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is very crucial and it is going to be enhanced further under India’s Act-East policy. Speaking after inaugurating submarine optical fibre cable (OFC) connecting Chennai and Port Blair through video conferencing, the Prime Minister said that the importance of our islands including Andaman and Nicobar Islands has increased as India is following the new policy and practice of trade and cooperation in Indo-Pacific.
Prime Minister said that the Indian Ocean had 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 their islands including Andaman and Nicobar has increased further. He added that 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.
He said that the Prime Minister said that Andaman and Nicobar Islands are going to be developed as a hub of Port Led Development in the coming times. He mentioned that the Andaman and Nicobar islands are located at a very competitive distance from many parts of the world.
He also said that now, when India is moving forward with the resolve of self-sufficiency as a global manufacturing hub, is establishing itself as an important player in the global supply and value chain then it is very important to strengthen their network of Waterways and our ports. He said that this optical fibre cable project, connecting Andaman and Nicobar with rest of the country is a symbol of our commitment towards ease of living.
He stated that be it online classes, tourism, banking, shopping or telemedicine, thousands of families in Andaman-Nicobar will now get its access. Now, the tourists going to the Andaman will get the huge benefit of the facility. Better net connectivity has become the first priority of any tourist destination today. The Prime Minister said that there were several challenges regarding OFC that was also a reason that despite the need of this facility for years, it could not be worked on.
He said that from Chennai to Port Blair, Port Blair to Little Andaman and Port Blair to Swaraj Island, the service has started in a large part of Andaman and Nicobar from this day. He congratulated the people of Andaman and Nicobar for this connectivity filled with endless opportunities.
After this, he said that before Independence Day, he see this occasion as a present to people of Andaman. The completion of this work of laying of cables for about 2,300 kilometres within the sea, is itself very admirable. Surveying in the deep sea, keeping the quality maintenance of the cable, laying the cable through special ships is not so easy.
The PM said that the bigger this project was, the greater the challenges. This was also a reason that despite the need of this facility for years, it could not be worked on. But I am happy that this work was completed, bypassing all the obstacles. He said that it is our endeavour to reduce the geographical distance faced by every citizen of the country and make an emotional connect with them.
He said that their dedication had been that every citizen of the country should reach every area with modern facilities, make their life easier. He said that it had been their dedication to develop border area, areas on sea borders that are related to the country’s security.