New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for developing an integrated tourism-centric ecosystem in Andaman and Nicobar islands and said pursuit of energy self-sufficiency in the islands could be based on solar energy.
Modi also reviewed the progress towards holistic development of islands.
An official release said the NITI Aayog made a presentation on the elements of holistic development, including key infrastructure projects, digital connectivity, green energy, desalination plants, waste management, promotion of fisheries and tourism-based projects.
The government had constituted the Islands Development Agency on June 1, 2017, and 26 islands have been listed for holistic development.
"Reviewing the work done in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Prime Minister emphasized on the need for developing an integrated tourism-centric ecosystem in the areas identified for tourism development.
"He called for expeditious pursuit of energy self-sufficiency in the islands, which could be based on solar energy," the release said.
Modi was also briefed on the decision of the Home Ministry to dispense with the requirement of Restricted Area Permit for foreigners visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Greater connectivity of these islands with South East Asia was also discussed.
During the review of development work in Lakshadweep, Modi was apprised of the steps taken to boost Tuna fishing, and the promotion of "Lakshadweep Tuna" as a brand. The Prime Minister appreciated Lakshadweep's initiatives on cleanliness.
The release said that development of vital infrastructure in both Andaman and Nicobar islands, as well as in Lakshadweep was discussed.
The Prime Minister asked the concerned officials to explore the possibility of seaweed cultivation, and other initiatives which could be of help for the agriculture sector.
The meeting was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the Lt. Governors of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep, CEO NITI Aayog, and senior officials from the Central Government.