India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 2,312-km-long submarine optic fibre cable network linking Chennai and Port Blair. This will provide a faster and reliable Internet and communication services to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The optical fiber cable link will deliver bandwidth of 2 x 200 Gigabits per second (Gbps) between Chennai and Port Blair, and 2 x 100 Gbps between Port Blair and the other islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Foundation stone has laid in 2018 by the Indian PM.
PM has taken the initiative with his future plan to develop Nicobar island as a transhipment hub and provide similar services same as the ports in Sri Lanka and Indonesia’s Banda Aceh.
The port’s strategic location is near the proposed Kra Isthmus Canal (Thai Canal) which will connect the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea. This will reduce the transit for oil shipments to Japan and China by 1,200 km.
“I am hopeful that through our efforts today, not only will the islands and its residents get new facilities in the coming decade but it will also establish Andaman and Nicobar on the world tourist map in a major way. There is a proposal to build a transshipment port in Great Nicobar at an estimated cost of Rs 10,000 crore. Efforts are on to have the first phase of this project operational in the next 4-5 years. Once it is ready, big ships will be able to dock here,” added the PM.
Developing a deep draught transshipment port in Nicobar Island will be a huge impact on the regional ports. Sri Lanka’s Colombo port enjoy the benefit of not having a deep water port in India as Indian cargo route via Sri Lanka.