The Centre today announced a 15-year plan to address transportation bottlenecks and physical connectivity of Lakshadweep.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a two-day visit to the islands, an Union Territory, said the perspective plan will cover the period 2016-30 and take care of physical connectivity, telecom network and digital gaps.
The plan provides for acquisition of three passenger ships, four cargo barges, one oil tanker and one LPG carrier, a Home Ministry spokesperson said.
To improve the telecom connectivity and to bridge the digital gap, the Home Minister assured that 216 Mbps of additional bandwidth would be provided to Lakshadweep apart from existing 102 Mbps along with augmentation of communication infrastructure.
During the visit, Singh had a detailed discussion with senior officers of the Lakshadweep administration and reviewed the security and development-related issues pertaining to the islands.
The Home Minister said the central government was committed to all-round development of the Lakshadweep islands.
Singh said that drinking water problems of the islands would be resolved by establishing desalination plants in six more islands.
Appreciating the high-level of literacy in Lakshadweep (92 per cent), the Home Minister asked the people and the administration to work for achieving 100 per cent literacy in near feature.
The Home Minister said the central government is providing 70 per cent subsidy for implementation of solar roof-top power devices in private households which should be utilised by the people so as to transform Lakshadweep into a 100 per cent renewable energy or solar powered union territory.
The Home Minister appreciated the organic farming initiatives taken up by farmers for coconut cultivation.
He also desired that the organic certification should be expanded from the present 30 per cent of the cropped area to 100 per cent of the cropped area.
Singh said that the central government will provide all the assistance to increase the fish production from 15,000 MT to 30,000 MT by adopting integrated sustainable approach.
During the visit, Singh inaugurated a new block for Government Junior Basic School (East), Kavaratti, constructed at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore which will help boost the educational infrastructure.
He also inaugurated the new directorate building for the Department of Information and Public Relations constructed at a cost of Rs 1.25 crore.