New Delhi: – Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 2,300 kilometres long ‘Submarine Optical Fibre Cable’ (OFC) laid between Chennai and Andaman-Nicobar Islands. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that with this cable High-speed internet will be available in Andaman-Nicobar Islands and will increase the connectivity on the islands. He added that this would benefit education, tourism and trade sectors. The Prime Minister pointed out that the importance of the Andaman-Nicobar Islands has and will increase under the Indian Act East Policy and for the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific regions. Since the last few years, Chinese movements in the Indian Ocean Region have increased. Against this background, the military development of these Islands becomes important.
The OFC cable project was flagged off by the Prime Minister in 2018. BSNL accepted this major challenge of laying the undersea cable. BSNL has completed the work in the stipulated time. This 2,300-kilometre-long network extends from Chennai to Port Blair to Little Andaman and from Port Blair to Swaraj Island.
This will make internet speeds of 400Gbps and 200Gbps available at Port Blair and other islands respectively. The mobile and landline telephone services in the Andaman-Nicobar Islands will improve. At the same time, the tourism industry in Andaman-Nicobar will benefit from this. Prime Minister expressed confidence that the locals will be able to access online education, health, e-commerce, banking and telemedicine, henceforth.
The Prime Minister underlined ‘For thousands of years the Indian Ocean is the centre of Indian trade and strength. Now, India is increasing it trade in the Indo-Pacific Ocean region and is implementing a new policy. This increases the importance of the Andaman-Nicobar Islands.’ The Indian ties with the East Asian countries and the countries in this marine region are becoming stronger under the Act East policy. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the development of Andaman-Nicobar Islands will prove to be very important for the Act East policy.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi said that other infrastructure development projects also have been initiated on the Andaman-Nicobar Islands. Andaman and Nicobar Islands will be connected to mainland India through land, marine and air connectivity. Airport work has started at Port Blair. Four ships are being built in the Kochi Shipyard. Andaman-Nicobar will be developed as a Port Development Hub. At the same time, there is a proposal under consideration, to develop a transhipment port in this region. Prime Minister said that then huge ships would dock here. The Prime Minister said that stress would be on ‘Blue Economy’, for this region.