Travellers rejoice! You need not leave India to experience water villas. Niti Aayog has decided to build water villas in Lakshadweep and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands. By Shrimayee Thakur

The Indian Government’s policy think-tank, Niti Aayog, along with administrations for the two Union Territories, has issued Rest for Qualification documents for its plans to build water villas at India’s most popular island destinations, Lakshadweep and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands. While people in India usually went to island destinations such as the Maldives to experience water villas, now they can head to these popular destinations.

The estimated cost for the project is INR 1,50,000 crore, which will be used to build both land and water villas. According to reports, apart from the villas, other new infrastructure such as airports, seaplanes, floating jetties and helicopter services will also be built. The additional infrastructure combined with the water and land villas will help make these spots more popular, and boost tourism. Bids have already been invited for the seven projects, which will be developed on a priority basis in the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

According to the proposal made by Niti Aayog, the water villas will have 125 rooms and shall be constructed on Minicoy Island, Suheli Island and Kadmat Island in Lakshadweep. The proposal also says that 460 rooms will be built in the land villas in the Aves Island, Smith Island, Long Island and Shaheed Island in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

This proposal comes after a pre-application conference that was held in Delhi in November this year, for eco-tourism projects in Andaman’s Long Island, Smith Island, Aves Island and Shaheed Dweep, along with Lakshadweep’s Minicoy, Suheli and Kadmat Islands. The objective of the projects, as clarified by Niti Aayog, is to create high-end tourism destinations in an environmentally sustainable manner, to protect the ecology of the islands. The think-tank also emphasised that tourism activities in the aforementioned islands will be governed by the carrying capacity of the islands, which is determined by the government.

With this project, India is all set to create its own water villa paradise in the islands for both domestic and international travellers.

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