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Cabinet approves provision of submarine fiber optic cable connectivity between mainland and Lakshadweep Islands


The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, gave its approval for the provision of submarine fiber optic cable connectivity between the mainland (Kochi) and the Lakshadweep Islands (KLI project).

The project envisages the provision of a direct communication link via a dedicated submarine fiber optic cable (OFC) between Kochi and 11 islands of Lakshadweep, viz. Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Agati, Amini, Androth, Minicoy, Bangaram, Bitra, Chetlat, Kiltan and Kadmat, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a press conference here.

The estimated cost of implementation is approximately Rs 1,072 crore, including operating expenses for 5 years. The Project would be financed by the Universal Service Obligation Fund.

According to an official statement, the subsea connectivity project will play a vital role in delivering electronic governance services to citizens’ doorsteps, the potential development of fisheries, coconut-based industries and high-value tourism, the educational development in terms of education and health care in terms of telemedicine facilities.

It will assist in the establishment of numerous businesses, increase e-commerce activities and provide adequate support to educational institutes for knowledge exchange. The Lakshadweep Islands have the potential to become a hub for logistics services.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has been nominated as Project Execution Agency and Telecommunications Consultant India Limited (TCIL) as Project Technical Consultant to assist the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

The project is expected to be completed in May 2023.

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