|Demand of the question|
Introduction. Contextual introduction.
Body. Discuss the pros and cons of recent NITI Aayog’s proposal to build tourism villas in Andaman-Nicobar and Lakshadweep archipelagos.
Conclusion. Way forward.
The Indian Government’s policy think-tank, Niti Aayog, recently had put plans to build water villas at India’s most popular island destinations, Lakshadweep and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands. While people in India usually went to island destinations such as the Maldives to experience water villas, now they can head to these popular destinations.
Advantages of NITI Aayog’s proposal to build tourism villas:
- Job opportunities for locals: This would help in creating satisfactory jobs, opportunities for self-employment, sufficient income for the locals.
- Social development: It would further create affordable state-of-the-art facilities for healthcare, access to high quality education and adequate air, sea and web connectivity.
- Tourism: It will help in creating tourism prospects in the region and thus income generation in the region.
- Inter-islands connectivity: In addition to tourism it will help in improving inter-islands connectivity and better ease of living in the archipelago.
- Infrastructure: Along with the villas, infrastructure would be developed, including the building of new airports, introduction of sea planes to these destinations and strengthening helicopter services as well as floating jetties to ensure smooth accessibility.
- Exports: There would be increased maritime and international trade with exports of products made in the islands.
Issues related to the proposal of building tourism villas:
- Ecological impact: The ecological impact of such a project on the lagoons and coral reefs is likely to be far more complex and damaging.
- Endangered marine life: These waters are home to a variety of threatened and endangered marine life, including green turtles, sea cucumbers, giant clams. Any development project will impact this marine life.
- Waste generation: Tourism in the area would lead to waste generation, which would harm local ecology for instance plastic waste is dangerous if it enters the marine food chain.
- Coral bleaching: With human concentration and tourism in the area, it would disturb local coral species and would destroy their ecology.
- Destroy island’s beauty: Tourism very often destroys the serenity and beauty of islands through congestion, traffic, and unpleasant development.
Islands are frequently characterised by smallness, insularity, undiversified economies and fragile ecosystems, and thus they face particular disadvantages for tourism in this competitive environment. Moreover, as the decision to visit an island is influenced by conditions outside of the control of the island itself, islands are vulnerable to often minor fluctuations in world market conditions and their economies have tended to be heavily distorted and unstable.