Lakshadweep Current Affairs

Second meeting of Island Development Agency held in New Delhi

The second meeting of Island Development Agency (IDA) was held in New Delhi. It was chaired by Rajnath Singh. It reviewed 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).

Key Facts

In the meeting, it was decided that Naval air station at Shibpur near Diglipur in northern Andaman & Nicobar Islands will be co-used as Joint User Airport.  It was also decided to develop PPP package including  airport (Joint User Airport) at Minicoy Island, to unlock the tourism potential.

It was agreed to promote tuna fishing industry for improving livelihoods in Lakshadweep. All concerned agencies were directed to expedite implementation of ongoing key infrastructure projects in islands and develop community based tourism in consultation with local stakeholders.

NITI Aayog was also asked to drive the formulation of PPP projects and proposed detailed guidelines to boost private sector participation. It aims at promoting and implementing development based on sustainable approach to building thriving maritime economy of project islands.

Island Development Agency (IDA)

The IDA was set up in June 2017 following Prime Minister’s review meeting for the holistic development of islands. Its first meeting was held in July 2017 were directions were given to identify and execute infrastructure and connectivity projects together with provisioning of water and electricity.

The meetings of the agency are chaired by the Union Home Minister. Members of IDA include cabinet secretary, home secretary, secretary (environment, forests and climate change), secretary (tourism) and secretary (tribal welfare).

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Parali I island: Uninhabited Lakshadweep island vanishes

According to a study, Parali I island, one of biodiversity-rich uninhabited islands part of Lakshadweep has disappeared due to coastal erosion and another four such islands in Lakshadweep sea are shrinking fast.

The researcher had conducted studies on assessment of biodiversity confining to five uninhabited islands– Parali I, II and III, Bangaram, Thinnakara in Lakshadweep, an archipelago of 36 islands in Lakshadweep sea.

Study Highlights

The assessment related to geo-morphological changes associated with each island for period of 45 years was carried out using geospatial techniques such as Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) to confirm the claim.

Parali I island, part of Bangaram atoll which was 0.032 square km in 1968 has been eroded to an extent of 100%, resulting in its inundation. Apart from Parali I, net erosion was higher in Parali II (80%), followed by Thinnakara (14.38%), Parali III (11.42%) and Bangaram (9.968%). The five islets of Bangaram atoll also have undergone coastal erosion.

The study has recommended of a bio protection strategy using mangroves, in addition to the conventional physical protection measures from coastal erosion.

Comment

The complete erosion and inundation of Parali I is pointing to gravity of issues associated with coastal erosion within atoll. It calls for urgent measures to be implemented on each islet of the atoll in Lakshadweep sea to check further erosion. Further, due to increasing global temperature because of climate change, islands and coastal areas are facing erosion and inundation due to rising sea levels. India’s coasts and islands, are densely populated, are highly vulnerable. There is urgent need to start preparing for building defenses to protect coastlines and islands as sea levels are predicted to rise further.

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