Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands Submarine Optical Fiber Connection (KLI - SOFC) project, marking a significant leap forward in overcoming the challenge of slow internet speed in the Lakshadweep islands. The project, announced during the Independence Day speech in 2020, is part of a series of initiatives aimed at boosting technology, energy, water resources, healthcare, and education in the region.
The completion of the KLI - SOFC project will bring about a radical transformation by increasing internet speed in Lakshadweep by more than 100 times, soaring from 1.7 Gbps to an impressive 200 Gbps. For the first time since independence, the Lakshadweep islands will be connected through a dedicated Submarine Optical Fiber Cable (OFC), ensuring a paradigm shift in communication infrastructure. This milestone is poised to bring faster and more reliable internet services, telemedicine, e-governance, educational initiatives, digital banking, digital currency usage, and digital literacy to the islanders.
Addressing the gathering, Prime Minister Modi expressed his excitement about the potential impact of the optical fiber project, stating that it would usher in a new era of connectivity and development in the region. He emphasized that the enhanced communication infrastructure would play a crucial role in facilitating telemedicine, e-governance, and various digital initiatives, thereby improving the overall quality of life for the residents.
"The beauty of Lakshadweep is beyond words," said the Prime Minister, visibly moved by the warm reception from the citizens. He expressed gratitude for their presence and acknowledged the deep connection the people have with their islands. Prime Minister Modi underscored the government's commitment to prioritizing remote, border, coastal, and island areas, acknowledging the historic neglect these regions have faced.
Apart from the optical fiber project, Prime Minister Modi dedicated several other development projects during his visit to Lakshadweep, including the Low Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD) plant at Kadmat, which will produce 1.5 lakh liters of clean drinking water daily, and the Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) in all households of Agatti and Minicoy islands, addressing the long-standing challenge of potable water availability in the coral island region.
These initiatives are not only poised to enhance the daily lives of the residents but are also expected to boost tourism, leading to increased local employment opportunities. The Prime Minister highlighted the government's efforts in achieving the saturation of various welfare schemes, including PM Awas Yojna (Gramin), free ration distribution, PM Kisan Credit Cards, Ayushman Cards, and the establishment of Ayushman Arogya Mandir Health and Wellness Centre.
As Lakshadweep embraces this technological revolution, the Optical Fiber Project stands as a testament to the government's commitment to bridging the digital divide and fostering comprehensive development in India's remote and island regions.