On November 8, 2017, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh chaired the second meeting of Island Development Agency (IDA) in New Delhi.The meeting was attended by Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Admiral D.K. Joshi, who is also the Vice Chairman of IDA.
- Other members of the IDA, Cabinet Secretary, P. K. Sinha, CEO of NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant, Union Home Secretary, Rajiv Gauba, Union Environment, Forest & Climate Change Secretary, C. K. Mishra and representatives of Ministries of Tourism, Power, Defence, Health, Telecommunications and Civil Aviation also attended this meeting.
- The IDA was set up on June 1, 2017 following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s review meeting for the holistic development of islands.
IDA approves holistic development of 9 islands
During the second meeting, IDA reviewed the concept development plans and detailed master plans for holistic development of 9 islands.
- These 9 islands include four in Andaman & Nicobar Islands (Smith, Ross, Long, Avis) and five in Lakshadweep (Minicoy, Bangaram, Thinnakara, Cheriyam, Suheli).
- These projects are being steered by NITI Aayog. Objective of these projects is to undertake development based on sustainable approach to create a thriving maritime economy on the project islands.
- In order to unlock the tourism potential, it has been decided to develop a Public-private partnership(PPP) package which includes a Joint User Airport at Minicoy Island.
- Besides, in order to improve livelihoods in Lakshadweep, it has been decided to promote the tuna fishing industry on the island.
Shibpur Naval Air station to be converted into Joint User Airport
During the last meeting of IDA held on July 24, 2017, directions were given to identify and execute infrastructure and connectivity projects along with provisioning of water and electricity.
- Owing to unique maritime and territorial bio-diversity of these islands, enhanced connectivity has been recommended as one of the key priorities.
- Thus it has been decided that the Naval air station at Shibpur near Diglipur in northern Andaman & Nicobar Islands would be co-used as Joint User Airport.