Nine islands identified for environment-friendly tourism development.
New Delhi: In keeping with the Modi government’s plans to boost island tourism and infrastructure, the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (Moefcc) has decided to ease procedures for clearance of projects in coastal stretches of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands and grant post facto clearance to on-going activities which do not harm environment.
September 30 has been set as the deadline by the ministry for receiving requests for regularisation of all activities, which do not violate the provisions of the Island Protection Zone, but have commenced construction without prior clearance.
In case of such proposals, the local coastal zone management authority shall give specific recommendations and certify that there have been no violations of the Islands Protection Zone Regulations, said an official.
A ministry official said a decision has also been taken to extend the period of validity for a maximum period of three years for projects which have already been accorded clearance.
But under all circumstances construction activities would have to commence within a period of five years from the date of the issue of clearance and operations would have to begin within seven years, said an official.
The liberalisation of norms, including a for carrying out projects in the coastal stretches of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands is in keeping with the government’s policy to promote island tourism and encourage water aerodromes and use of seaplanes, like the one used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Sabarmati river front in December last year.
The civil aviation ministry has already issued regulations prescribing the procedure and requirement for licensing of water aerodromes for a pilot project in five states.
A masterplan prepared by the Niti Aayog has identified nine islands of Andaman and Nicobar for environment-friendly tourism development like Singapore and New Zealand.
Islands identified for tourism push in Andaman and Nicobar included Smith Island, Ross Island, Avis Island and Long Island. In the Lakshadweep, Bangaram, Thinnakara, Suheli, Cheriyam and Minicoy have been identified.
Apart from tourism, the islands my also witness development related to infrastructure, renewable energy, organic agriculture and fisheries.