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Great Nicobar Island Project UPSC NOTE

 

  • The Great Nicobar Island (GNI) project, launched in 2021, is a mega project to be implemented at the southern end of the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

  • It involves developing a trans-shipment port, an international airport, township development, and a 450 MVA gas and solar-based power plant on the island.

  • The project was implemented after a report by NITI Aayog which identified the potential to utilise the advantageous position of the island, which is approximately equidistant from Colombo in Sri Lanka to the southwest and Port Klang (Malaysia) and Singapore to the southeast.

Concerns and Controversies:

  • Environmental Concerns: Experts and constitutional bodies have raised concerns about the project's environmental impact.

  • Forest Clearance: The project requires cutting down 9.6 lakh trees and using 7.114 sq. km of tribal reserve forest land.

  • Compensatory Afforestation: The government plans to compensate for deforestation in Haryana, a geographically different location.

  • Land Rights Violations: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) is investigating alleged violations of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) during the forest clearance process. 

  • The government is accused of not consulting the NCST as mandated by the Constitution.

  • Shompen Tribe: The project will impact the territory of the Shompen, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG). 

  • The government claims they won't be relocated.

Government Response:

  • The Tribal Affairs Ministry will review the forest clearance paperwork.

  • Minister Oram emphasizes attention to forest and land rights of tribal communities.

  • The government maintains FRA rejections are "case-to-case" based on region.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Great Nicobar Island Project UPSC NOTE
Great Nicobar Island Project UPSC NOTE
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