Lakshadweep is the India's smallest Union Territory, known for its chain of coral islands. There are 36 islands (three reefs and six submerged sandy banks) in all, of which, 10 are inhabited and scattered in the Arabian Sea at distance of 220-440 kms of the west coast of Kerala.
In Lakshadweep, tourism is one of the few areas that can play a vital role in generating revenue, jobs and overall island growth. Lakshadweep is already recognised as a tourist destination because of its isolated islands and scenic beauty since 1974.
Bangaram is predicted as a key international tourism destination because of its abundant marine fauna and activities including water sports, such as scuba diving, wind surfing, snorkelling, surfing, kayaking, canoeing, water skiing, yachting and evening trips to the sea; these are popular activities among visitors.
In 2019, 7,805 tourists were estimated to arrive in Lakshadweep. In February 2020, the Ministry of Tourism took initiatives under ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Programme’— ‘Andaman-Lakshadweep Mahotsav’ to promote their products and boost tourism in the states.
As of April 2021, Lakshadweep had a total installed power generation capacity of 0.75 MW, all of this was generated by private utilities. With the SunSource Energy power plant project, Lakshadweep is witnessing its largest solar project that will power four different islands—Agatti, Kavaratti, BangaRam and Thinnakara.
In 2020-21, the total merchandise exports from Lakshadweep stood at US$ 0.16 million.
Below are some of the major initiatives taken by the Government to promote Lakshadweep as an investment destination:
- The government’s effort to connect Lakshadweep with submarine optical fibre cable would enable people in rural areas/villages and all islands avail cheaper and better connectivity.
- In March 2021, the Ministry of Earth Sciences announced that India and Norway have agreed to jointly work in the area of marine spatial planning in the oceanic space for the next five years. The agreement is a part of the ‘Indo-Norway Integrated Ocean Initiative’ wherein Lakshadweep and Puducherry have been identified as the pilot sites for the project. The Government of India's initial investment for undertaking studies and planning are estimated to be ~Rs. 9 crore (US$ 1.38 million) annually.
- In February 2021, the UT completed preliminary inspection for construction of a modern passenger terminal at Beypore Port. This initiative is part of the UT’s agenda to upgrade Beypore Port into a well-developed seaport. The terminal is designed to be situated adjacent to the main entrance of the port. According to the port officials, the Harbour Engineering department has been entrusted with the preparation of the project plan to be submitted to the government, with a proposed completion timeline of two years.
- In February 2021, the UT, in its proposal to the Ministry of Home Affairs, announced its plans to dedicate a tourist ship in the islands with the aim to develop cruise tourism and generate employment opportunities.
- In February 2021, the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Mr. Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the Atal Paryavaran Bhavan, the headquarters for the forest department, under the Lakshadweep Tourism Policy 2020 to promote and develop eco-tourism. In addition, Mr. Javadekar issued environmental permits for different eco-tourism projects in the islands of Suheli, Kadmat and Bangaram.
- In January 2021, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) began operations of seaplane services, on select routes, under a special purpose vehicle (SPV) framework, through prospective airline operators. The proposed origin-destination pairs include Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar islands. The project execution and implementation would be through Sagarmala Development Company Ltd. (SDCL), which is under the administrative control of the ministry.
- In December 2020, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, approved the provision of submarine optical fibre cable connectivity between Mainland (Kochi) and Lakshadweep Islands (KLI Project).
- Lakshadweep entered the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ programme, allowing access to the foodgrain quota at a subsidised rate from any FPS of their choosing with effect from September 01, 2020.
- In December 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture declared Lakshadweep as India’s first UT to cultivate 100% organic produce.
- In February 2020, the Ministry of Tourism took initiatives under ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Programme’—‘Andaman-Lakshadweep Mahotsav’ to promote their products and boost tourism in the states.
- In 2020, UDAN 4.0 scheme, under the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), invited tenders for
- An underserved airport, Lakshadweep Island airstrip, with an emphasis on island connectivity.
- In Lakshadweep Island, which is up for bidding, the ministry also recognised that efforts are underway to provide the region with aerial connectivity.
- In January 2020, the government of India listed 10 islands for holistic development in Lakshadweep to promote tourism and offer facilities to export seafood and coconut products.
- Development plans have been prepared and are being implemented on the five islands of Lakshadweep, with a focus on job creation for islanders by promoting tourism and exporting seafood and coconut products manufactured in the islands.
- Kadamat Island, Minicoy Island and Suheli Island of Lakshadweep were taken up for expeditious implementation through public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
Lakshadweep State Presentation
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