India to develop Nicobar Port to rival Colombo | Sunday Observer

India to develop Nicobar Port to rival Colombo

India is planning to develop a transhipment port at Great Nicobar Island in the Bay of Bengal with an investment of Rs10,000 crore ($1.33bn).

The Indian prime minister Narendra Modi announced the plan as he inaugurated the first undersea optical fiber project to provide high speed internet to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Modi said Andaman and Nicobar Islands has been chosen as a hub of port-led development as it is in a competitive location and central to the government’s focus to promote trade and simplify maritime logistics. According to Modi, legal bottlenecks for the project are also being removed.

The transhipment port will provide an alternative to Colombo, which is currently the major transhipment hub in the region.

Senior officials said the different projects are part of the government’s overarching vision for the islands and use them as a springboard to open up new opportunities for India in South-East Asia. It was in this context, one official said, that PM Modi on Monday unveiled plans to build a transshipment port at Great Nicobar Island.

PM Modi said this would give ships an alternative to similar ports in the region.

Officials said New Delhi wants to pitch the proposed Rs 10,000 crore port to be built at Great Nicobar Island as an alternative to other ports in the neighbourhood including those in Sri Lanka and Indonesia’s Banda Aceh.

“The idea is to turn Andaman into a major transportation hub that is at the heart of India’s Look East policy,” a second government official said. Already, plans are afoot to expand the runway at the Campbell bay airport.

(Agencies, HT)

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