In a first, NCSCM develops resource maps for ANI, Lakshadweep

Focus on high-end tourism in uninhabited islands < Comprehensive plan to promote ANI as world-class destination
Report by: 
Port Blair
3 Nov 2018

In line with the plans of the NITI Aayog to develop Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) and Lakshadweep for high-end tourism while keeping ecology conservation to the fore, the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) in Chennai has come up with resource maps for the South Andaman Region and Baratang Island besides some islands in the Lakshadweep group.  The maps mark sensitive areas for conservation & preservation and areas for various tourist activities after extensive field verification and satellite remote sensing. The draft of the resource maps have been submitted to the UT Administration and uploaded in the official websites inviting suggestions from stakeholders.
The resource maps contain details like access to provide basic amenities such as drinking water, electricity, healthcare, transport and building the capacity to treat the sewerage water in the islands. The map also provides location of Lighthouses, Schools, Community Halls, Fish Landing Centres, Roads, Ferry, Seawall, Jetties etc. Marking sensitive areas for conservation and preservation of ecosystem, demonstrates various Island Coastal Regulation Zones like mangroves, mudflat, coral reefs, protected forests, reserve forests, national parks, wildlife sanctuary, intertidal zones etc. It also depicts location of Jarawa reserves, buffer zones, IRCZ line for rivers or creeks, turtle nesting sites etc.
There will be the cap for the number of tourists visiting the islands and staying there to preserve the ecosystem. In these islands, the use of plastics will be prohibited to control pollution, while in conservation zones, there will be limited activities and preservation zones will have no activity. The NITI Aayog has recently conducted the Investors Meet at Delhi to get the suggestions from various stakeholders. “Major players in the hospitality industry like ITC have shown interest in the project. It will soon take off after obtaining the necessary approvals from various agencies, as per reports.
The National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) came into existence in July last years as part of the government initiative to promote livelihood, development of coastal communities through various R&D and policy initiatives. NCSCM combines geospatial sciences with cutting-edge research on conservation, pollution, climate change and community interface – both in mainland and islands of the country. Major objectives of the Centre includes - Promoting integrated and sustainable management of the coastal and marine areas in the country for the benefit and well-being of the traditional coastal and island communities; Strengthening capacity of coastal management at all levels, including stakeholders; Advising Union and State governments and other associated stakeholders on policy and scientific matters related to Integrated Coastal Zone Management; Striving to become a world class institution through cutting-edge research pertaining to understanding coastal zones, coastal processes, integrated planning and management of coastal and marine areas. There are totally 1,382 islands in our country. The government first wants to focus on Andaman and Lakshadweep islands to develop them as world-class tourist destinations for eco-tourism and it may later develop other islands closer to the mainland as well.