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Lakshadweep Collector Ali defends Patel ahead of Kerala assembly resolution

Speaking to the media, Ali said the changes that are happening on the island are for its wholesome development

Thursday May 27, 2021 8:10 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS


[Lakshadweep administrator Praful Patel in Bangaram Island with local officials.]

Kochi: With Kerala's opposition parties up in arms over the various media reports about the manner in which Lakshadweep is being run by new administrator Praful Patel, the collector of the island, S. Asker Ali said all that is happening now is because of a misinformation campaign.

Asker Ali arrived here at a time when the ruling CPI-M led Left and the Opposition Congress led UDF have slammed the way Patel is going about things on the island, and are set to come out with a unanimous resolution against Patel.

Already both the ruling Left and the Congress led UDF have asked for the immediate withdrawal of Patel from the post he holds.

"Development of Lakshadweep is the reason"

Speaking to the media, Ali said the changes that are happening on the island are for its wholesome development.

"Some vested interests are behind the smear campaign that's presently going on with misleading propaganda," said Ali.

Also Read | Appoint new admin in Lakshadweep, revoke unnecessary orders: Pawar to PM

"Maldives lies next to the island and there the biggest activity is tourism, while despite the island also having the same facilities, tourism has not picked up. We are now developing three new tourist spots. Likewise there is a problem of internet connectivity and to resolve that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sanctioned an underwater cable and once done, it will change the issue of connectivity," said Ali.

"Liquor outlets only for tourists"

He said the sanctioning of liquor outlets is only for the tourism industry. The airport will be developed for big aircraft to land as now only small ATR aircraft can land on the island.

"Only the tourists and those having permit for liquor will be able to buy liquor and no one else will be able to buy," said Ali.

He pointed out that of late there have been huge seizures of drugs and arms and ammunition from some parts of the island.

Also Read | President urged to remove Lakshadweep Admin Praful Patel

"There have been reports of drug abuse on the island and the new Anti-Social Act will be used only against those who violate the laws," said Ali.

"Value addition to Coconut, fish"

He said that steps are being taken for value addition to coconut and fish as these are the two mainstays of the island.

"In a year the coconut production stands at 10 crore coconuts and 25,000 tones of fish, of which more than 90 per cent is tuna fish. We are now getting ready for value addition in both these products, which will bring increased revenue for the stake holders", Ali said.

"Already ice plants have been set up on the island and more will be set up soon. The Coconut Development Board is also now associating for value addition", he said.


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