On 9th December 2020, Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave green signal for laying submarine optical fibre cable (OFC) between Mainland (Kochi) and Lakshadweep Islands (KLI Project).
At present, the medium for telecom connectivity to Lakshadweep is through satellites, which offers bandwidth limited to 1 Gbps. To improve the telecommunication facility at the Islands, Government has taken the initative to provide large bandwidth through dedicated OFC.
The KLI Project
Direct communication link shall be established through a dedicated submarine OFC under this project. It shall be connecting Kochi and 11 islands of Lakshadweep namely – Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Agati, Amini, Androth, Minicoy, Bangaram, Bitra, Chetlat, Kiltan and Kadmat.
The envisaged cost of this project is around Rs 1,072 crore, which includes cost of implementation and operational expenses for five years. The project is funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The project is targeted to be completed by May 2023.
“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 and augment e-commerce activities” as mentioned in press release of DoT dated 9th December 2020,
Implementation Partners for Kochi Lakshadweep Islands (KLI) Project
Indian state-owned telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is nominated as project execution agency. Telecommunications Consultant India (TCIL) is technical consultant of the project and further shall assist USOF.
Some Technical Details of KLI Project
As mentioned in the Detailed Project Report prepared by TCIL for KLI Project, total route length is 1921.16 Km and cable length is 1989.19 Km connecting all 11 inhabited islands on submarine OFC. Cable shall have design life of 25 years and number of fiber pairs as per current plan is 6 fiber pairs across all 13 segments.
Nations Vision: This project is in line with national objective of strengthening e-governance services and achieving the vision of Digital India. Earlier, on 10th August, 2020 Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had inaugurated Submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connecting Chennai and Port Blair, the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier, on the occasion of 74th Indian Independence day mentioned from the Red Fort in New Delhi about connecting Lakshadweep Islands with submarine OFC in coming 1000 days.