CHENNAI: As part of the NITI Aayog’s flagship project to promote ‘island tourism’ in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a portion of the dense semi evergreen forest in pristine Aves Island will be razed for building a resort, that would include 50 luxury tents to attract foreign tourists.
Aves, Smith and Ross Islands were identified for the project and detailed master plan are being prepared. Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation (ANIDCO Ltd) has filed an application with the Union Environment Ministry seeking forest clearance for the project.
As per details accessed by Express, the proposed luxury resort would have 50 tents, and diesel generators would be used to power the structures as the island lacks electricity supply and is far away from the major habitation area of Mayabundar.
A desalination plant is also proposed alongside a sewage treatment plant. According to the rapid environmental impact assessment done by Chennai- based National Institute of Ocean Technology and Atal Centre for Ocean Science and Technology for Islands, Port Blair, the Aves Island is almost covered with semi-evergreen forest and felling of trees was inevitable for the project.
However, the report says that the project site falls outside the ‘no development zone’ of 20 metres from the coast. In March last year, the Union Environment Ministry had granted CRZ clearance for the project.