LAKSHADWEEP DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION LIMITED

( PORT CONTROL TOWER WING)

KAVARATTI.

  INTRODUCTION:

              Lakshadweep islands is a group of 36 islands situated in the Arabian sea. The islands are about 200 – 400 kms off the coast of Kerala. Out of these 36 islands only 11 are inhabited. The present population of these islands is estimated at about 65000. This smallest political unit of the country add approximately 400,000 sq.km. of ocean to the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

  The development of these islands as well as preserving the culture and tradition of the islanders received special consideration from Govt. of India and the UT Administration since 1956 when these islands became an Union territory. As a prelude to all developmental efforts in islands the strengthening of transport and communication was given importance during last four decades. The dependence of these islands on mainland is on the increase year after year not only for the entire food articles but also for all essential commodities and construction materials. The isolated location of the islands and above socio-economic requirements has made the transport and communication sector the life line of these islands.

 The LDCL established by the GOI in the year as a nodal agency to foster the diverse developmental needs of these islands. Following the recommendations of Expert committee of Ministry of Surface Transport , GOI  to establish a systematic communication network as a part of Port development, UT Administration , Department of Port commissioned the LDCL to establish and manage the vital network of Port Control Towers in various islands. To achieve the above objective the Control Tower wing of LDCL was specially constituted in the year

In a short span of years the activities of the wing has not only contributed considerably to the achievement of its basic objective but also in the course dedicated itself in the service of the people. The following  information on various activities are furnished to give an overview of our work.

PORT CONTROL TOWERS

In order to have effective control over the large number of vessels plying in Lakshadweep waters Port Control Towers are being established in all inhabited islands. While the civil construction works are undertaken by LHW the installation, operation and management of these towers is by the LDCL PCT Wing. 43 local candidates were recruited and trained to man these communication installations spread over various islands. Now there is better communication between the ports and vessels both government and private. At present the network is functioning from 1998 to till date.    In a short span we hope to extend the communication network timing to 24 hrs.

DISTRIBUTION OF NAVIGATION AIDS

Under a special scheme for strengthening the communication and operation of private vessels the UT Administration through the Department of Port provided necessary fund for procuring and distributing various essential navigation aids to the vessel owners .Accordingly wireless radio was supplied at subsidized cost to  25 vessel owners. During from 2000 to till date Vessel owners were supplied 23 Global Positioning System(GPS). Apart from subsidy the repayment of the cost is simplified by arranging installments. It is worth noting that last year no vessels were reported missing and Administration was considerably relieved from incurring large sum on account of search and rescue operations. This is a direct impact of the pioneering effort of the PCT Wing.List of vessels supplied with GPS and Communication equipments.

SHIPPING ACTIVITIES

It has been a long standing aspiration of the Lakshadweep Administration that the experienced and dedicated crew of the islands should get employment in Administration managed vessels.

Ship being the lifeline of the islands, the challenges posed in running ship services are also manifold. LDCL  took on this challenge and successfully operated the newly built passenger vessels, M.V.Amindivi and M.V. Minicoy  for one full season.

It also took over the four cargo barges of the Lakshadweep Administration during November and December 2001.

LDCL could provide employment to 56 crew and additional 56 crew were employed after the article of the first batch got completed.