PM Modi announces optical fibre link connecting Lakshadweep, mainland India2 min read . Updated: 15 Aug 2020, 10:28 AM IST
- Modi set a target of completing the Lakshadweep undersea project in 1,000 days to boost mobile and broadband communication between mainland India and the group of islands situated on the Laccadive Sea, off the southwestern coast of India
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced an undersea optical fibre cable link to connect Lakshadweep with mainland India. The announcement comes after Modi, earlier this week, inaugurated India’s first submarine cable line between Chennai and Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands situated on the edge of the eastern Indian Ocean.
Delivering his speech at Red Fort on India’s 74th Independence Day, Modi set a target of completing the Lakshadweep undersea project in 1,000 days to boost mobile and broadband communication between mainland India and the group of islands situated on the Laccadive Sea, off the southwestern coast of India.
The department of telecommunications (DoT), which had undertaken the project at Andamans, will oversee the Lakshadweep cable line as well, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister of communications, in a Twitter post.
"For high speed Internet services in Lakshadweep Islands PM @narendramodi ji today set a target of 1,000 days to provide submarine optical fibre connectivity to these islands. Like linking Andaman & Nicobar islands @DoT_India will fast track this as well," Prasad said.
On 10 August, Modi inaugurated the Chennai-Port Blair project, whose foundation was laid in December 2018. The 2,312-kilometre long cable project, implemented at a cost of ₹1,224 crore, will connect not only Port Blair but also other islands such as Swaraj Dweep, Long Island, Rangat, Little Andaman, Kamorta, Car Nicobar, and Greater Nicobar.
Internet speeds of up to 400 gigabyte (Gb) per second will be provided at Port Blair and 200 Gb per second for other islands, according to official statement. The cable is expected to boost 4G mobile services and digital services such as tele-education, tele-health, e-governance services and tourism on the islands.
“The optical fibre connectivity project to connect Andaman and Nicobar with the rest of the country and the world is a symbol of our commitment towards ease of living," Modi had said.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are strategically important to mount pressure on China at a time when India’s relation with its neighbour have become bitter. The islands sit at the mouth of the Malacca Strait, one of the busiest shipping thoroughfares of the world and a reason India set up its first tri-service command in the Andamans in 2001. At times of tension with China, India has the option of using its navy to “choke" the Chinese sea lanes of communications with assets based out of the Andamans, according to analysts.