Modi government is transforming India’s important strategic asset Lakshadweep

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For the first time since the independence of the country, due importance is being given to the strategic and strategic importance of the country, along with the development of our island groups, adding them to the main stream of the nation, by the Narendra Modi government at the center.

When it comes to India’s dominance in the Indian Ocean, not only the Andaman-Nicobar Islands but another important island group strengthens India’s strategic position in the Arabian Sea, its name is Lakshadweep. This archipelago is also one of the most important strategic assets of India. Lakshadweep literally means a group of one lakh islands. It is situated at a distance of 400 km from the main land of India.

This island group is divided into three parts by the 9 degree channel and the 11th parallel north line. The strategic importance of the 9 ° Channel can be understood in such a way that 12 merchant ships pass through here every minute. It is the lifeline of the global trading waterways. This waterway is a unique waterway connecting the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman to Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. Taking a very important decision by the Government of India, it has been decided to construct an airstrip on Minikay island of Lakshadweep. With this decision of India, quick response can be given on any activity of China and Pakistan in this maritime area.

There are only 10 islands in the group of 36 islands spread over an area of ​​32 square kilometers, in which a total of 60,000 people reside. Compared to the main land of India, this almost negligible area is very important for strategic and geopolitical reasons. In addition to fish trade in the applicable and exclusive economic zone found in Lakshadweep, there are also reserves of very important minerals.

Maldives can be a potential threat to India due to the political instability of Maldives and China playing the role of an ally in the String of Pearls. In any such situation, India definitely gets the benefit of Lakshadweep being very close to Maldives. Due to the Gulf of Aden and Somalia, India is able to establish excellent control over the potential crisis of pirates in the Arabian Sea through Lakshadweep. There is always room for better controls in the future.

The 2008 sea-borne terrorist attack in Mumbai, growing radicalism in Maldives and infiltration by Pakistan are going to raise India’s security concerns. During the reign of Indira Gandhi, the headquarters of the Southern Air Service Command was established in Trivandrum but due to the air base being in Sulur in Tamil Nadu, the air force’s combat control in the Arabian Sea was weakened. Coastal security in India has not been given much attention since the country’s independence. Governments started considering this issue seriously after the Mumbai terror attack. Information was received from several intelligence agencies that Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba could use an uninhabited island in Lakshadweep as its base.

In 2010, the Indian Coast Guard station was commissioned by the Government of India at Kavaratti and Minicoy islands. In 2016, a naval attachment was also commissioned by the Modi government at Andrott Island. The Narendra Modi government at the Center is considering a project to set up a high star naval base in Lakshadweep. With the help of this naval base, the Government of India will be able to control smuggling, piracy and terrorist activities by establishing surveillance and control in this entire area.

With the construction of Hambantota port in Sri Lanka by China and control over many islands of Maldives, the redressal of sub-crisis will be possible from the self-sufficient naval base of Lakshadweep. Government of India is considering to increase the airstrip on Agati Island from 1000 meters to 3200 meters. Through this airstrip, the Boeing P-8I Poseidon aircraft of the Navy and the Albatros squadron based on INS Razali can also be stationed here. After flying from the island, the Poseidon aircraft will reach Africa. The airstrips to be developed on these islands will provide a forward position to the Navy in case of war.

To strengthen its control in the Arabian Sea, Lakshadweep will be controlled from here as soon as the Karwar Naval Base Project under construction in Karnataka is completed. The importance of the Karwar Naval Base can be understood from the fact that it will be the largest and most important naval base located east of the Suez Canal. The Narendra Modi government at the Center is working on a plan to connect Lakshadweep with a submarine cable for better internet connectivity on the lines of Andaman. At present, the Government of India is working on a project to construct a 2.5 kilometer long airstrip on Minicoy Island. Along with strengthening India’s strategic power, it is being built to expand the possibilities of tourism in Lakshadweep.

For the first time since the independence of the country, due importance is being given to the strategic and strategic importance of the country, along with the development of our island groups, adding them to the main stream of the nation, by the Narendra Modi government at the center. Along with this, to promote coastal tourism, necessary infrastructure is also being developed on these beautiful islands. In the coming time, Indian tourists will start getting this facility in their own country instead of visiting countries like Maldives, Fiji etc. There is full confidence that tourism will improve the standard of living and income of the people of Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshadweep.

– Shivesh Pratap

Technical Management Consultant, IIM Calcutta Alumni, Writer, Columnist

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