Modi govt’s plan to build ‘beach floating villas’ in Lakshadweep may be beginning of end for coral paradise

Marine biologists have warned that going ahead with the project on three islands of the archipelago – Minicoy, Kadmat and Suheli – would pose a serious threat to the fragile coral reef islands

Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@013Smi
Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@013Smi

Sushil Kutty

The ‘Save Lakshadweep Forum’ did not take into account the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi spends at least 17 hours a day mulling what to do, and where, to disturb the status quo no matter what the cost because money is not a factor for his pet projects. One is to transform parts of Lakshadweep from a coral paradise to a cement and concrete abomination.

Marine biologists have sent forth an alarm warning that going ahead with the project to build 370 “beach floating villas” on three islands of the archipelago would pose a serious threat to the fragile coral reef islands. But it has had no effect on Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda Patel, a Modi associate from way back, and who along with Modi and Amit Shah make up the three meddlesome Gujarati musketeers bent on turning Lakshadweep into a Gujarati outpost.

These coral islands have been there off the coast of Kerala for maybe hundreds of thousands of years, and human beings have inhabited them for maybe only a less number of years, but those who were there never interfered with the islands or built their inflated egos on to them. Not anymore.

The trio has the whole course charted, the islands numbered and the fish accounted for. Before long, when the 370 villas are built, the sharks will come -- the loan-sharks, and the other sharks, those with deep pockets. It will be one big assault on the coral, and on the flora and the fauna.

Very soon, the three targeted islands wouldn’t be recognizable. The marine biologists warned that building the 370 floating villas would be a “developmental misstep” of monumental proportions, but who is listening?

The villas will be built using the design, build, finance, operate, and transfer (DBFOT) model on Public-Private Partnership basis on the three chosen islands – Minicoy, Kadmat and Suheli. The villas will be under the care of the Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports (SPORTS) headed by the Collector.

The scientists and researchers who have petitioned the administration, warning it that the project would be an ecological disaster, haven't cut ice with Praful Khoda Patel. The Save Lakshadweep Forum needs immediate assistance to take on the government or else the islands will be lost forever to the Arabian Sea.

(IPA Service)

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