Consultants to help Niti Aayog with Great Nicobar Island

30 October 2020 2 min. read

India’s planning body Niti Aayog has put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for consultants to help devise a master plan for the development of Great Nicobar Island – off India’s Southeastern coast. 

Niti Aayog is currently reviewing the applications sent in by the consulting industry in the lead up to the 6th October deadline. The selected consulting firm will act in a technical capacity, tasked with: Preparing a master plan; developing an engineering design;  and evaluating the project’s financial feasibility, all in accordance with the project terms of reference.

Nestled in the Bay of Bengal on India’s eastern coast, Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a union territory (UT) with more than 300 islands – among the largest of which is the 1,000 square foot Great Nicobar Island. The government is looking to make the most of these reserves of natural resources.

The move to develop Great Nicobar Island is the latest in an ongoing Holistic Development of Islands (HDI) programme launched by the Niti Aayog in 2017. An Island Development Agency was set up at the time under the Home Minister, with the specific aim of developing the islands.

“The potential of these islands is still largely unexplored and untapped. The Governmnt of India intends to set a model in place for holistic development of a few identified islands while preserving and maintaining the natural ecosystem and rich biodiversity that each of them possess,” reads the Niti Aayog RFP.

Drawing on these natural reserves and enhancing infrastructure are tourism hot spots such as Great Nicobar will be a crucial part of India’s economic recovery. The Covid-19 crisis and all its repercussions have all but dried up travel and tourism revenues – which make a significant contribution to the country’s GDP.

For now, travel is only getting more restricted, particularly to and from India where the number of confirmed cases is the second highest across the world. That being said, travel will undoubtedly resume at some point, and keeping projects such as the HDI up and running in the mean time will ensure that the attractions are better than ever when things normalise.

According to the Niti Aayog, the development process is being kept inclusive, drawing input from the UT administration as well as from the central government where required. The selected consultants will keep this holistic perspective in consideration when planning the development.