The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, today has given its approval for
provision of Submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) Connectivity between Mainland (Kochi) and Lakshadweep
Islands (KLI Project).
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) has been nominated as Project Execution Agency for this prestigious project worth Rs 1072 crore which is expected to be completed by May 2023. The Project envisages provision of a direct communication link through a dedicated submarine Optical
Fibre Cable (OFC) between Kochi and 11 Islands of Lakshadweep viz. Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Agati, Amini,
Androth, Minicoy, Bangaram, Bitra, Chetlat, Kiltan&Kadmat.
It is evident that the growth of telecom infrastructure is closely linked with the economic and social
development. Telecommunication connectivity plays vital role in employment generation. The present
approval for Provision of Submarine Optical Fibre Cable Connectivity will vastly improve
telecommunication facility in the Lakshadweep Islands by providing large bandwidth. The estimated cost of implementation is about Rs. 1072 crore including operational expenses for 5 years.
The Project would be funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
The submarine connectivity project will have vital role for delivery of e-Governance services at the
doorstep of citizens, potential development of fisheries, coconut based industries and high-value tourism,
educational development in term of tele-education and in health care in terms of telemedicine facilities.
It will help in establishment of numerous businesses, augment e-commerce activities and provide
adequate support to educational institutes for knowledge sharing. The Lakshadweep Islands have the
potential to become a hub of logistic services. Telecommunications Consultant India Ltd. (TCIL) will be the Technical Consultant of the Project to assist
Universal Service Obligation Fund, Department of Telecommunications. The ownership of the asset
under the project will rest with USOF, the funding agency, under DoT.
Union Territory of Lakshadweep comprising a number of Islands is situated in the Arabian Sea and of
immense strategic significance for India. Provision of secure, robust, reliable and affordable Telecom
facilities is of utmost importance for the people living in these islands as also from a strategic point of
view for the whole country.
Presently only medium of providing telecom connectivity to Lakshadweep is through satellites, but the
bandwidth available is limited to 1 Gbps. Lack of bandwidth is a major constraint in providing data
services, which is a pre-requisite for providing e-governance, e-education, e-banking etc. for inclusive
growth of society.
Government is accordingly committed to provide tele-communication facilities in Lakshadweep Islands
Planning for laying the submarine optical fibre cable to Lakshadweep Islands has been under
consideration for some time. High bandwidth communication facility to the Lakshadweep Islands is also
in consonance with realising the national objective of strengthening e-governance services and achieving
the vision of Digital India.
BSNL Completed CANI (Chennai to Andaman Nicobar Islands) Project in August 2020
BSNL successfully completed CANI project which connects mainland Chennai to Andaman and Nicobar Islands earlier this year. The submarine cable connects Port Blair to Swaraj Dweep (Havelock), Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, Great Nicobar, Long Island, and Rangat. BSNL executed this project and about 2300 kilometres of Submarine OFC cable has been laid at a cost of about Rs 1224 Crore.
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