NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the first ever undersea optical fibre project for Andaman and Nicobar Islands which will provide high speed broadband connections in the Union Territory at par with services in the mainland.
On December 30, 2018, the Prime Minister had laid the foundation for the 2,312-Kilometers long submarine optical fibre cable project connecting Chennai - Andaman and Nicobar Islands (CANI).
"From Chennai to Port Blair, Port Blair to Little Andaman and Port Blair to Swaraj Dweep, this service has started in large part of Andaman Nicobar from today," Modi said after inaugurating the project through video conferencing.
The project has been implemented at a cost of Rs 1,224 crore. Besides Port Blair, it will connect other islands namely Swaraj Dweep (Havlock), Long Island, Rangat, Little Andaman, Kamorta, Car Nicobar and Greater Nicobar.
PM said that it is the responsibility of the nation to provide modern telecom connectivity to the people of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. All telecom operators in the country will be able to provide their mobile and broadband services using the CANI optical fibre link. "The optical fibre connectivity project to connect Andaman and Nicobar with the rest of the country and the world is a symbol of our commitment towards ease of living," Modi said.
According to official data, internet speed of 400 gigabyte (Gb) per second will be provided at Port Blair and for other islands it will be 200 Gb per second. Undersea cable linking Andaman Islands with Chennai was laid before time despite difficult situation, Modi said.
Work of laying undersea cable has been executed by BSNL in a record time of less than 24 months. This project will give a boost to 4G mobile services and digital services like tele-education, tele-health, e-governance services and tourism on the islands.
PM said that tourists will get huge benefit from the optical fibre facility and thousands of families in the Union Territory will be able access education, banking, shopping or tele-medicine online. "High impact projects are being expanded in 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar. Issue of mobile and internet connectivity have been resolved today. Apart from this, physical connectivity through road, air, and water are being strengthened," Modi said.
The PM referred to the work on two major bridges and the NH-4, in order to improve the road connectivity of North and Middle Andaman.
He said that the Port Blair Airport is being enhanced to handle a capacity of 1,200 passengers and the airports are ready for operations in Diglipur, Car Nicobar and Campbell - Bay. "Similarly, construction of deep draft inner harbour at East Coast is also going on at high speed. Now there is proposal of a TransShipment Port with an estimated cost of Rs 10,000 crore in Great Nicobar," Modi said.
He said that the new port will enable big ships to anchor and increase India's share in maritime trade, along with new employment opportunities.
The PM said the passenger terminal in Swaraj Dweep, Shaheed Dweep and Long Island along with water aerodrome infrastructure like floating jetty will be ready in the coming months and four ships being built at Kochi Shipyard shall be delivered soon to improve water connectivity between the islands and the mainland.
The PM said that when India is moving forward with the resolve of self-sufficiency and is establishing itself as an important player in the global supply and value chain, it is very important to strengthen our network of waterways and our ports.
He said that the blue economy like fisheries, aquaculture and seaweed farming in the island will accelerate in commensurate with the modern infrastructure being developed in Andaman and Nicobar.