A&N Islands Can Act As a Spring Board to India’s Look East Policy: AK Singh

August 08, 2014

New Delhi: The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are crucial to India’s security to China and can act as a spring board toIndia’s Look East Policy, insisted Lt Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lt Gen AK Singh (Retd), today. The Lt Governor was delivering a talk on ‘Strategic Significance of Andaman and Nicobar Islands for India’, at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) on August 8, 2014.

India is awakening to the challenge of increasing hostile activities in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) cautioned the Lt Governor, adding that India must take advantage of the geographical position of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to strengthen its capabilities.The Andaman Nicobar Island Command has been positioned since 2002. However a lot still needs to be done in the domain of surveillance and interception, said the Lt Governor.

Terming the Archipelago as a unique mix of cultures, the Lt Governor said that the government is striving to achieve overall development of the islands while keeping the ecological concerns and the welfare of the local population to the fore. In this regard many initiatives in the field of communication and connectivity have been undertaken. Efforts are on to develop tourism and fisheries to give a boost to the local economy, which is highly subsidized. Private enterprise is also being encouraged.

Underlining some of the major challenges, he said that poaching, sever ecological reservations and budgetary constraints play a constraining role. He however, expressed optimism that responsible exploitation of the natural resources in the islands can solve many problems.