Andaman & Nicobar emerge as India’s focal areas of development, strategic depth

Andaman & Nicobar emerge as India's focal areas of development, strategic depth

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It is official: India is planning big in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Media reports said the Environment Ministry’s panel on September 15 cleared a controversial 16,610-hectare project on Great Nicobar Island. The project is expected to cost Rs 75,000 crore and will include the construction of a greenfield international airport, an international container terminal, a township, and a power plant.

These development plans are in sync with India’s growing maritime security concerns in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

In January 2016, India came out with a maritime security strategy paper that emphasised the strategic significance of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and underscored their importance for India’s power projection into the Western Pacific and beyond.

The Andaman & Nicobar Islands located adjacent to the western entrance of the Strait of Malacca straddle one of the busiest sea routes in the world. Containing about 30 per cent of India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the Islands connect South Asia with Southeast Asia.

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