The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh chaired the first meeting of the newly constituted Islands Development Agency (IDA).
The IDA was set up on June 01, 2017 following the Prime Minister’s review meeting for the development of islands.
The Union Home Minister presented the vision for developing India’s maritime economy while preserving the natural eco-system and addressing the security concerns. He emphasized upon the need for sustainable development of Islands with people’s participation.
The CEO, NITI Aayog made a detailed presentation on the current status and the way forward for holistic development of identified islands. He informed that Concept Development Plans and Detailed Master Plans are being prepared for identified islands with principles of sustainability, people’s participation, eco-system preservation and determination of carrying capacity as the guiding principles. Such an exercise is being taken up for the first time in the country.
Admiral D.K. Joshi, former Navy Chief and Vice Chairman of IDA suggested taking up suitable interventions for sustainable implementation of planned projects.
During the meeting, the progress being made for the formulation of integrated master plans and other matters concerning the islands development were reviewed. It was also decided that Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Administrator of Lakshadweep Islands will be included as members of IDA.
After detailed consultations with key stakeholders, 10 islands namely Smith, Ross, Aves, Long and Little Andaman in Andaman & Nicobar and Minicoy, Bangaram, Suheli, Cherium and Tinnakara in Lakshadweep have been identified for holistic development in the first phase. With this meeting, the efforts for holistic development of Islands of India received a major boost.
Other Members of the IDA including Cabinet Secretary, Home Secretary, Secretary (Environment, Forests and Climate Change), Secretary (Tourism) and Secretary (Tribal Welfare) also participated in the meeting.