Lakshadweep Islands: India's only coral islands chain
Lakshadweep Islands, lying in the Arabian Sea, are a group of 36 islands. The islands are well connected by air and water with 10 minor ports and an airport in Agatti and another proposed to be developed at Minicoy.
The varied flora, fauna and coral reefs along the islands, attracts domestic and international tourists. The islands also offer a great destination for water sports. Ministry of Shipping has identified 10 locations in the UT to be developed in phase-I of its Lighthouse Tourism initiative. The UT has a high presence of food products, beverage manufacturing, furniture and wood-based products manufacturing MSME units. With lagoon area of about 420,000 ha, the UT has high scope for the fisheries sector. Abundant production of coconuts also provides investment opportunities in coconut-based products such as coconut oil, coir yarn, etc. Small-scale service industries such as engineering workshops, ITeS and auto-servicing, which do not pollute the lagoons are best suited on the islands. Concurrently, the islands have a very small but significant presence of local handicrafts.
Key upcoming projects include:
- Smart Cities Mission, for which Kavaratti is the city identified in Lakshadweep Islands
- Abundance of coir resources, with an upcoming coir cluster in Androt Island
- Presence of handicraft training-cum-production center, offering equipments at 50% subsidy to promote handicraft units on the islands
- India's highest per capita availability of fish, with highest number of fish catch in Minicoy
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Lakshadweep Islands have one of the highest literacy rates in India.