Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File photo)
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the submarine optical fibre cable (OFC) connecting Chennai and Andaman & Nicobar, through video conferencing. The link is expected to provide a big boost to the economy of the islands. The foundation stone for this project was laid by PM Modi on December 30, 2018 at Port Blair.
A submarine communications cable is a cable laid on the seabed between land-based stations to transmit telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean and sea.
“From Chennai to Port Blair, Port Blair to Little Andaman and Port Blair to Swaraj Island, the service has started in a large part of Andaman and Nicobar from today. I congratulate the people of Andaman and Nicobar for this connectivity filled with endless opportunities,” PM said while inaugurating the project.
The high impact projects are being expanded in 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar. This will resolve a major problem of mobile and internet connectivity in the region. Apart from this, physical connectivity through road, air and water will also being strengthened.
Noting that the project posed a big challenge, PM said that work of laying of cables for nearly 2,300 kilometers under the sea, and completing task ahead of schedule is praiseworthy.
PM further said the optical fibre cable, connecting Andaman & Nicobar with rest of the country is a symbol of our commitment towards improving connectivity and ease of living. Be it online classes, tourism, banking, shopping or telemedicine, thousands of families in the region will benefit from this.
He said tourism in Andaman will reap a huge benefit of this facility. “I hope that our efforts today, in this decade, will give Andaman and Nicobar, not only new facilities to the people there, but also as a prominent place in the World Tourist Map,” he added.
To strengthen the road connectivity of North and Middle Andaman, 2 major bridges and NH-4 widening are being worked on rapidly. Further, capacity to handle 1,200 passengers simultaneously at Port Blair Airport will be ready in the coming few months.
Stating that with India following the new policy and practice of trade and cooperation in Indo-Pacific, PM noted the importance of our islands including Andaman and Nicobar has increased further. He also said that big ships will be able to dock once the ports in the region are developed further. This will increase India’s share in maritime trade and give more opportunities to the youth.