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NITI Aayog’s “Megacity plan for Little Andaman”

What is the News?

Niti Aayog has released a  megacity plan for Little Andaman. The plan is a part of its Vision Document titled “Sustainable Development of Little Andaman Island”.

Facts:

  • Aim: To leverage the strategic location and natural features of the Little Andaman island. A new greenfield coastal city will be developed as a free trade zone. The city will compete with Singapore and Hong Kong.

Zones: The document has proposed the development along the three zones:

  • Zone 1: It will spread along the east coast of Little Andaman. It will be the financial district and medi city and will include an aerocity and a tourism and hospital district.
  • Zone 2: It will spread over 85 sq km of pristine forest in Andaman. It will have a film city, a residential district and a tourism Special Economic Zone(SEZ).
  • Zone 3 — It will spread over 52 sq km of pristine forest. It will be a nature zone. It will be further categorised into three districts: an exclusive forest resort, a nature healing district and a nature retreat, all on the western coast.

Challenges for Mega-City

There are certain factors that could prevent the sustainable development of Little Andaman namely:

  • Lack of good connectivity with Indian mainland and global cities
  • Fragile biodiversity and natural ecosystems
  • Certain Supreme Court notifications can pose an impediment to its development.
  • Presence of indigenous tribes and concerns for their welfare
  • 95% of Little Andaman is covered in forest, a large part of it is the pristine evergreen type.
  • Some 640 sq km of the island is Reserve Forest under the Indian Forest Act.
  • Nearly 450 sq km is protected as the Onge Tribal Reserve, creating a unique and rare socio-ecological-historical complex of high importance.

Source: The Hindu

 

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