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Business News/ News / ‘Lakshadweep ecologically fragile’: MP says as island sees tourist interest, calls for ‘controlled way of tourism’

‘Lakshadweep ecologically fragile’: MP says as island sees tourist interest, calls for ‘controlled way of tourism’

Tourists must be managed in Lakshadweep due to its delicate environment, says MP Mohammad Faizal Padippura.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted this picture on his X account of an aerial view of one of the pristine beaches, in Lakshadweep on Thursday. (ANI Photo)Premium
Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted this picture on his X account of an aerial view of one of the pristine beaches, in Lakshadweep on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lakshadweep and his call to visit the island, the surge to visit the island has grown among the tourists. However, local MP Mohammad Faizal Padippura in an interview with NDTV has said that the amount of tourists must be managed due to the island's delicate environment and said that Lakshadweep is “very sensitive and ecologically very fragile." that has been propped up by a rulebook that lays down the number of tourists the islands can contain each day.

He said, “You cannot imagine Juhu beach or a Goa type of tourism in Lakshadweep. " He rather told NDTV that the tourist inflow they envisage is a ‘controlled way of tourism.’

“We have declared a carrying capacity for any person to come  here, how many tourists can be accommodated in a day. Secondly, the tourists who are coming to Lakshadweep have to give their consent towards our environment," he told NDTV.

As a result, an "integrated Island management plan" has been developed by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Ravindran Commission. “This IIMP is a broader outline or a ‘Bible’ for for development of tourism, constructing buildings, roads, jetties, headquarters," he told NDTV. He further added, that the commission's "widely accepted" plan also indicates the carrying capacity of the island maximum number of visitors it can accommodate.

“We want tourism to develop and we are looking for tourism destination as a high-end low volume tourism," he said as quoted by NDTV. Explaining the reason for the high-end low volume tourism, he told the daily that this comes due to water scarcity, and limited ground water facility which is for the people living on the island. 

New airport in Lakshadweep

The Indian government is planning to build a new airfield at Minicoy Island of Lakshadweep which would be capable of operating civilian and military aircraft, including fighter jets, news agency ANI reported on 9 January citing sources. "The plan is to have a joint airfield that would be capable of operating fighter jets, military transport planes and commercial aircraft," ANI quoted government sources as saying.

Also Read: ‘Rediscovering Lakshadweep’: Online permits, better connectivity -- how the archipelago can become next tourism hotspot

Increase in flights to Lakshadweep

Alliance Air, the only Indian airline that operates to Lakshadweep, has started additional flights to Kochi-Agatti-Kochi. The airlines operate 70-seater aircraft to the island daily. An airline official recently informed ANI that "It is running at full capacity and all tickets till March have been sold out. SpiceJet is also soon set to launch flights to Lakshadweep, its chief Ajay Singh had said.

Lakshadweep recorded lowest air traffic in 2023

According to AAI data, The Agatti Island airport in Lakshadweep registered the lowest number of flights during the April-November 2023 period, the lowest in eight years. As per the AAI data, the Agatti airport reported 1,080 aircraft movements during this period, compared to 1,482 during April-November 2022 and 1,202 during April-November 2021. The trend is similar in earlier years, except in 2020 when travel and tourism were disrupted due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

India Maldives row:

A massive row was triggered as Maldives deputy minister, along with other cabinet members and government officials, made disparaging and unsavoury references to PM Modi's Lakshadweep visit. On January 2, PM Modi visited the Union Territory and shared several pictures, including an 'exhilarating experience' of him trying his hand at snorkelling. Though, the Maldives government has removed the three ministers from their posts, the row still persists as many tourists cancelled their trip to the island nation. 

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Published: 15 Jan 2024, 11:29 AM IST
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