In recent news, Lakshadweep will soon be home to Maldives style water villas.

The three premium projects will come up in Minicoy, Kadmat and Suheli islands at a cost of Rs 800 crore, for which the administration floated global tenders on July 31, as reported by The Economic Times. 

“In a first of its kind initiative in the country, three premium water villa projects are identified in Minicoy (150 keys, project cost of Rs 319 crore), Suheli (110 keys, Rs 247 crore) and Kadmat (110 keys, Rs 240 crore) islands, based on comprehensive location suitability analysis, technical and financial feasibility and project structuring”, it said. A joint survey, comprising representatives from National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), MoEF and CC and NITI Aayog, visited Lakshadweep during November 2018 for site assessment and confirmation.

The Eco-tourism resort at Minicoy Island consists of an 8.53 Ha land area, 6.00 Ha lagoon area, 110 keys for Beach villas and 40 keys for Water villas. Supporting infrastructure to be created by the developer include 114 KLD RO/Desalination Plant and 2152 kW (Rooftop + Floating) Solar Power Source.

“Lakshadweep Administration shall facilitate the concessionaire in obtaining applicable permits subject to concessionaire submitting a timely complete application,” the UT administration said in the RFP document.

In an interview with ThePrint, Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda Patel had said he wants to develop the archipelago on the lines of the neighbouring Maldives, a renowned international tourist destination. The administration had in 2019 floated global tenders to develop eco-tourism projects in these islands. But following a lukewarm response from prospective bidders, the administration of the union territory decided to withdraw the tenders, restructure them and float them again. The projects are being backed by federal think tank Niti Aayog and the Union home ministry, in a bid to develop the remote islands.

Recently, the Maldives became Indian tourist’s favourite destinations especially Bollywood celebrities. The destination became popular for its luxurious water villas and tropical activities. Now, the destination has been reopened for Indian tourists after two months, In May, Maldives suspended entry of South Asian travellers, including Indians when the second wave hit. It has now reopened and visa-on-arrival is issued to tourists to produce a negative RT-PCR test report, including those who have received both doses of the Covid vaccine.