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Lakshadweep to soon get Maldives style water villas

Tuesday, 03 Aug 2021
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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 31 July 2021. 
With a vision to establish a robust base for maritime economic growth with tourism development at its core, the administration 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 projects finalisation ensures that it strikes a balance between protection of the fragile corals' ecosystem and the need to improve livelihood opportunities of the islanders.
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.  
A joint survey, comprising representatives from the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), MoEF&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. 
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.
In February, 2020, the Lakshadweep Coastal Zone Management Authority (LCZMA) gave its recommendations for the three projects, based on which the MoEF&CC appraised and granted CRZ clearance for the water villas projects in its 274 th EAC (CRZ) meeting held on 30 September 2020. 
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. 
The Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPAC) recommended the Minicoy project on 11 May 2021 and the Standing Finance Committee did so for Kadmat and Suheli projects on 25 June 2021.
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