Maldives style water villas soon in Lakshadweep

An aerial view of Suheli Dweep of Lakshadweep Islands | Malayala Manorama Archives

India’s popular island destination, Lakshadweep, will soon feature three top Maldivian-style water villas, which are reportedly the first of their kind in the country. The three premium projects will be built on the islands of Minicoy, Kadmat and Suheli at a price of Rs 800 crore, for which the administration published global tenders on Saturday.

With a total area of only 32 km2, the Lakshadweep Islands, which lie off the west coast of India, are the smallest of the Union Territories (UT) under the Government of India (GoI). And yet they contribute about 20,000 km² to the territory of the Indian Territorial Sea and 400,000 km² to the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

An aerial view of Suheli Dweep of Lakshadweep Islands | Malayala Manorama Archives

With the vision of creating a robust base for maritime economic growth with tourism development at the center, the government said it wants to develop high-quality ecotourism projects on these islands as anchor projects under the aegis of NITI Aayog.

The scientific approach taken at every stage of project closure ensures that there is a balance between protecting the fragile coral ecosystem and the need to improve the islanders’ livelihoods, the administration said in a statement.

“In a first of its kind initiative in the country, three premium water villa projects are identified in Minicoy (150 keys, project cost of Rs 319 crore), Suheli (110 keys, Rs 247 crore) and Kadmat (110 keys, Rs 240 crore) islands, based on comprehensive location suitability analysis, technical and financial feasibility and project structuring”, it said. A joint survey, in which representatives of the National Center for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), MoEF and CC as well as NITI Aayog participated, was visited by Lakshadweep in November 2018 for site assessment and confirmation.

The administration announced that the total number of keys to be developed for water villas corresponds to the carrying capacity figures assessed by NCSCM, which have been further strengthened by the holistic master plan for development.

It is unique to note that all applicable clearances required for the projects prior to construction are granted in advance, including the CRZ clearances.

The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) has been commissioned to prepare the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA) required for CRZ approval, the administration announced.

In February 2020, the LCZMA issued its recommendations for the three projects, on the basis of which the MoEF and the CC in their 274th

The administration claimed that during the completion of the projects it had meaningful consultations with all concerned stakeholders including public representatives and concerned panchayats from Kadmat, Kavaratti and Minicoy.

 

In September 2019, the local Panchayats NOC issued for the proposed ecotourism projects on the islands of Kadmat, Minicoy and Suheli in total, even for the lawyer license, it said.

The Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPAC) recommended the Minicoy project on May 11, 2021 and the Standing Finance Committee for Kadmat and Suheli projects on June 25, 2021, the administration said.

Source: Economic Times

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