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Union Home Minister and Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways inaugurate sea route to Baratang and lay foundation stone for shipping projects in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh and Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated an alternate sea route to Baratang Island and laid the foundation stone for extension of dry dock in Port Blair, extension of wharf in Hope Town and construction of an additional jetty along with extension of Berthing Jetty in Neil Island at an event in Port Blair in A&N Islands yesterday. Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and Lt. Governor of A & N Islands Prof. Jagdish Mukhi were also present on the occasion. 

 In his address the Home Minister, lauding the efforts of Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, said that the country, under the dynamic leadership of PM Modi, will emerge as one of the top three economies by 2025-30 though now it is only in the top ten economies of the world.

 He also drew attention to the fact that A & N Islands had only one national highway but in the last three years, 7 NHs have come up there adding that the ‘blue economy’ which thrives in A & N Islands contributes about one trillion dollars to the economy.

 Speaking on the occasion Shri Gadkari explained the advantages A & N Islands will gain by the projects now initiated. Ships can be repaired there instead of them sending them elsewhere which is costly. The potentials of these islands can be exploited to build ships with private investments and in fact, shipping ministry is focussing on ‘Make in India’ programme under the Sagarmala Project.  Efforts are on to bring in new technology for manufacturing ships in the country

 Speaking about the shipping sector, Shipping Minister said that the islands will have 14 new ships as the existing ships are old and have to be replaced. On power generation, he remarked that diesel generated power causes environmental pollution and to curb the pollution, the other renewable energies like solar and wind power must be explored and there are plans to set up LNG and CNG based power in the islands soon.

The other areas he touched upon are cruise terminals to boost tourism in the Islands and sea fishing and deep-sea fishing adding that the Government is committed for infrastructure and overall development, job creation and welfare of the islands which is located away from mainland..

  Minister of State for Home, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir reiterated the commitment of the Central Government towards the development of A & N Islands and explained the immense benefits the Islands will have of the projects.

 The inaugurated new sea route to Baratang will be an alternative to the NH-4 route that linked Baratang to Port Blair, passing through the Jarawa Tribal Reserve. This sea route will thus help promote tourism without disturbing the tribal areas. 

The extension of wharf in Hope Town will enable bigger vessels to berth and since they will bring more petroleum products, the costs will come down. And the project is expected to be completed by February 2018.

 Again, the construction of additional approach jetty and extension of existing jetty at Neil Island would help in accommodating more than one ship; moreover, dredging upto 5m would make it possible for bigger ships to berth with more cargo like vegetables. This would help in economic development of the area by promoting tourism and would also help in optimal utilization of available resources. The project is expected to be complete by March 2018.

 The extension of Dry Dock –II at Port Blair will help augment the available ship building and ship repair facilities. The project is expected to be complete by September 2019.


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