24 Jan 2022.
The Government of India is planning to develop the Nicobar Islands in terms of defense, commerce, logistics, and industries. This is called the Mega Infrastructure Project. It is also referred to as the Great Nicobar Plan. The plan is to be implemented in the southernmost tip of India, that is, in the Great Nicobar Islands.
Recently, a team of retired civil servants has written to the President of India raising concerns against the project. According to them, the proposed infrastructure project will displace the Shompen tribe. These tribes are extremely vulnerable.
What is the project about?
There are four major components in the project. They are a transshipment terminal for containers, an airport, cities, and a solar power plant. The size of all four projects is big.
- The transshipment terminal shall handle 14.2 million TEU of cargo.
- The solar plant is to be built on 16,000 hectares of land.
- Two new cities are to be built in coastal regions
- International airport to support peak hour traffic of 4,000 passengers
About the Project
- Developing authority: NITI Aayog is the developing authority of the project.
- To be implemented by: ANIIDCO – Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation
- Project Worth: Rs 75,000 crores
Concerns against marine life
The Galathea Bay in the region is one of the important marine turtle habitats of India. In all 400 concerns were raised by environmentalists against the project. However, the Environmental ministry cleared the project based on the feasibility report submitted by AECOM Private Limited. Hyderabad Vimta Labs was contracted for the EIA report.