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Submarine OFC project that connects Andaman Nicobar Islands to the rest of the world is a symbol of our commitment towards ease of living: PM
Thousands of families in Andaman-Nicobar will now get its access, the residents will reap the benefits of internet connectivity: PM
In 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, high-impact projects are being expanded: PM

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today launched and dedicated to the nation, the submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connecting Andaman & Nicobar Islands to the mainland through video conferencing. The foundation stone for this project was laid by the PM on 30th December 2018 at Port Blair.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said the connectivity would now enable endless opportunities in the islands. He said the laying of the 2300 Kms submarine cable and completing it before the set target is very praise worthy.

The Prime Minister said that the service had begun today on a major chunk of the islands from Chennai to Port Blair, Port Blair to Little Andaman and Port Blair to Swaraj Island.

The Prime Minister admired the laying of cables for about 2300 kilometers under the sea as surveying in the deep sea, maintaining the quality of the cable and laying of the cable with specialised vessels is not an easy task. The project also had to overcome challenges such as high waves, storms and monsoons and the tough times owing to Corona Pandemic.

The Prime Minister said the Andaman & Nicobar Islands felt the need for years but no steps were taken to fulfil it. Shri Modi expressed his happiness for being able to deliver the project notwithstanding such major challenges.

The Prime Minister said providing better and cheap connectivity to the people of Andaman & Nicobar Islands is the responsibility of the country. He congratulated all those who were associated with the project. Shri Modi said the Submarine Cable is one such effort to prove that A & N Islands are not far away from Delhi and from the Hearts of the Mainland.

Ease of Living to every Citizen

Shri Modi said that the Government is committed to provide modern facilities to every citizen and every sector so that there can be a better ease of living. He said this Optical Fibre Project which links A&N Islands with the rest of the country is an example of the commitment of the Government towards ease of living. He said the Government is committed to the speedy development of national security linked border areas and island states.

Increase Opportunities through Digital India

The Prime Minister said the Submarine Cable will help A&N in getting cheaper & better connectivity and all the benefits of Digital India, especially in improving online education, tele-medicine, banking system, online trading and in boosting tourism.

PM said that the Indian Ocean has been the center of India's trade and strategic prowess for thousands of years and that Andaman & Nicobar is an important centre for India’s Economic-Strategic Cooperation.

He said all the Islands of India would be playing an important role under India’s new trade strategy for Indo-Pacific region.

Shri Modi said under the Act-East policy, the role of Andaman and Nicobar in India's strong relations with East Asian countries and other countries connected to the sea is very high and is going to increase.

He said that the Island Development Agency was formed 3 years ago to strengthen its role. He said that the projects which were not completed in Andaman and Nicobar for years, are now rapidly getting completed.

High Impact Projects & Better Land, Air and Water Ways

PM said that High Impact Projects are being expanded in 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar. Apart from providing for better internet & mobile connectivity, he said the effort is to further improve physical connectivity through road, air and water.

The Prime Minister referred to the work on two major bridges and the NH-4 in order to improve the road connectivity of North and Middle Andaman.

He said the Port Blair Airport is being enhanced to handle a Capacity of 1200 passengers.Along with this the airports are ready for operations in Diglipur, Car Nicobar and Campbell - Bay.

Shri Modi said the Passenger Terminal in Swaraj Dweep, Shaheed Dweep and Long Island along with Water Aerodrom Infrastructure like Floating Jetty will be ready in the coming months.

He said that the 4 Ships being built at Kochi Shipyard shall be delivered soon to improve the Water connectivity between the islands and the mainland.

Port Led Development

He said Andaman & Nicobar will be developed as an hub of Port Led Development as it is at a Competitive Distance from many ports of the World.

Prime Minister said a country which has better network of ports and their connectivity will be able to provide a boost to trade in the 21st Century.

He said that today, when India is moving forward with the resolve of self-sufficiency and is establishing itself as an important player in the Global Supply and Value Chain, it is very important to strengthen our network of Waterways and our Ports. Shri Modi said that the legal bottlenecks in the development of Port Infrastructure are also being removed continuously.

International Maritime Trade

PM said that the Government's focus is also on promoting Ease of Business in the sea and simplifying Maritime Logistics. He referred to the speedy construction of the deep draft inner harbor and the proposal to construct TransShipment Port in Great Nicobar at an estimated cost of about Rs 10 thousand crores. Shri Modi said this would enable big ships to anchor and would increase India’s share in maritime trade, along with new employment opportunities.

He said that the blue economy like Fisheries, Aquaculture and SeaWeed farming in the island will accelerate in commensurate with the modern infrastructure being developed in Andaman and Nicobar. He wished that the efforts of the Government will give Andaman and Nicobar, not only new facilities but also as a prominent place on the World Tourist Map.

 

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There is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment: PM
All necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients: PM
Local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns: PM
PM reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines
Installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be accelerated: PM
Utilize the entire national capacity to ramp up vaccine production: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Various aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed.

The Prime Minister said that together India had defeated Covid last year & India can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination.

The PM stressed that there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. Early testing and proper tracking remains key to reduce mortality. He also said that local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns.

The Prime Minister directed that close coordination with States must be ensured in handling the pandemic. He said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients. The Prime Minister also directed that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.

PM spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines. He reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines. The Prime Minister was briefed on actions taken to address the issue of availability of Remdesivir. Through the efforts of the Government, capacity and production augmentation for manufacturing of Remdesivir has been ramped up to provide around 74.10 lakh vials/month in May while the normal production output in January-February being just 27-29 lakh vials/month. Supplies have also increased from 67,900 vials on 11th April going up to over 2,06,000 vials on 15th April 2021 which are being particularly focused on states with high caseload and high demand. He took note of the ramped up production capacity, and directed that issues relating to real-time supply chain management to States must be resolved urgently in coordination with the States. The Prime Minister directed that use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines, and that their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.

On the issue of supply of medical oxygen, the Prime Minister directed that the installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be sped up. 162 PSA Oxygen plants are being installed in 32 States/UTs from PM CARES. The officers informed that 1 lakh cylinders are being procured & they will be supplied to states soon. The officers briefed the PM that they are in constant supply with 12 high burden states in assessing the current and future requirement of medical oxygen. A supply mapping plan for 12 high burden states till 30th April has also been undertaken. The Prime Minister also said that supply of oxygen required for production of medicines and equipment necessary to handle the pandemic should also be ensured.

The Prime Minister also reviewed the status of availability & supply of ventilators. The Prime Minister noted that a real time monitoring system has been created, and directed that concerned State governments should be sensitized to use the system proactively.

On the issue of vaccination, the Prime Minister directed all officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity, in public as well as private sector, to ramp up vaccine production.

He was joined by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Union Home Secretary, Union Health Secretary, Pharma Secretary. Dr V K Paul, Niti Aayog was also present.