PUNE, India — A 58-page, undated “vision document” produced by an Indian government think tank outlines a concept for the “sustainable development” of Little Andaman Island. The rainforested and sparsely populated 675-square-kilometer (260-square-mile) island is part of the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands archipelago, far off India’s eastern shore in the Bay of Bengal. The document, not in the public domain but reviewed by Mongabay-India, states that “ecological and environmental constraints” have meant that the strategic and economic potential of the island were never developed to their full potential; 95% of the island is under forest cover. There is need to “open” Little Andaman, which is “as big as Singapore,” and “release the area for deployment of strategic assets,” the document states. The document also draws comparisons with bustling tourist destinations like Bali in Indonesia and Phuket in Thailand. Underlining the Singapore comparison, the vision document says that while the population density of Little Andaman is 47 people per km2, it is 7,615 per km2 in Singapore. The concept for the island includes development of a city, international airport, marina, ring road with mass transit stations, and tourist centers including hotels, casinos, a theme park, an opera house and an “Exclusive Forest Resort and Nature Healing District” complete with its own airstrip for charter planes and wellness institutes. “What is stopping us from developing these into veritable jewels for the country?” asks the document, referring to Little Andaman as well as Great Nicobar Island to the south of it, which…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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