In a first, Lakshadweep to get Maldives-style water villas


Kavaratti: India's popular island destination Lakshadweep will soon have three premium Maldives-style water villas, claimed to be the first of its kind in the country.

The three premium projects will come up in Minicoy, Kadmat and Suheli islands at a cost of Rs 800 crore, for which the administration floated global tenders on Saturday.

With a vision to establish a robust base for maritime economic growth with tourism development at its core, the administration said it is engaged in developing high-end eco-tourism projects at these islands as anchor projects under the aegis of NITI Aayog.

The scientific approach adopted in each stage of the project's finalisation ensures that it strikes a balance between protection of the fragile corals' ecosystem and the need to improve livelihood opportunities of the islanders, the administration claimed in a statement.

"In a first of its kind initiative in the country, three premium water villa projects are identified in Minicoy (150 keys, project cost of Rs 319 crore), Suheli (110 keys, Rs 247 crore) and Kadmat (110 keys, Rs 240 crore) islands, based on comprehensive location suitability analysis, technical and financial feasibility and project structuring", it said.

A joint survey, comprising representatives from National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), MoEF and CC and NITI Aayog, visited Lakshadweep during November 2018 for site assessment and confirmation.

The total number of keys for water villas to be developed conferred to the carrying capacity numbers assessed by NCSCM, which was further strengthened by the holistic development master plan, the administration said.

It is unique to note that all the applicable clearances required for the projects prior to the construction are given upfront, including that of CRZ clearances.

The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) was engaged to prepare the Environment Impact Assessment Report (EIA) required for CRZ clearance, the administration said.

In February 2020, LCZMA gave its recommendations for the three projects, based on which the MoEF and CC appraised and granted CRZ clearance for the ambitious water villas projects in its 274th EAC (CRZ) meeting held on September 30, 2020.

The administration claimed that while finalising the projects, it conducted meaningful consultations with all the concerned stakeholders including public representatives and the concerned Panchayats of Kadmat, Kavaratti and Minicoy.

In September 2019, the local Panchayats issued NOC for the proposed eco-Tourism projects at Kadmat, Minicoy and Suheli islands in totality, even for the bar licence, it said.

The Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPAC) recommended the Minicoy project on May 11, 2021 and the Standing Finance Committee did so for Kadmat and Suheli projects on June 25, 2021, the administration said.

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