Great Nicobar Island project

Great Nicobar Island project

News: Recently, a group of 70 former civil servants on urged the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to prevent the displacement of two Adivasi groups due to infrastructure project on the Great Nicobar Island.

What is the Great Nicobar island project?
 The Great Nicobar Island (GNI) Project is a mega project to be implemented at the southern end of the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
 It involves the construction of a Rs 35,000-crore trans-shipment port, an international airport, a power plant, a township and tourism infrastructure spread over more than 160 square kilometers of land.
 A report from NITI aayog mentions that the proposed port project will help India become a major player in cargo
 The proposal for floated as early in 1970 and its importance for national security and consolidation of the Indian Ocean Region has been underlined several times.
 Increasing Chinese assertion in the Indian Ocean has added great urgency to this imperative in recent years.

Why is it being opposed?
 Due to its adverse impact on the rich biodiversity of the area and damage to the habitats of endangered species.
 The project area is part of Coastal Regulation Zones-IA and IB, and the Galathea bay which is a nesting ground for birds. Additionally, turtle nesting sites, dolphins and other species will be harmed by dredging.
 Concerns raised around loss of tree cover and mangroves on the island.
 According to some bureaucrats the project will harm the Shompen, a particularly vulnerable tribal group that could lose much of its traditional forest foraging grounds, and the southern Great Nicobarese, a Scheduled Tribe, who were already displaced after the 2004 tsunami.
 Also, recently, the NGT had also ordered closer look at some environmental issues raised.
Source – Scroll, Indian Express

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