New Delhi: NITI Aayog today invited proposals from consultancy firms and other entities for developing islands as major tourism hubs -- an initiative taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In September, Modi highlighted the tourism potential of numerous islands in the country and had directed for a speedy development plan for 26 such identified islands.
To begin with, NITI Aayog has invited applicants for preparation of concept development plans and detailed master plans for holistic development of 10 islands in request-for qualification-cum-request for proposal (RFQ-cum-RFP) for consultancy work.
"NITI Aayog invites RFQ-cum-RFP from national/ international firms/ organisations/ institutions, which have requisite experience in this field," reads the notice inviting the proposals.
In India, there are a total of 1,382 off-shore identified islands but the tourism potential of these islands is still largely unexplored and untapped.
NITI Aayog, the official think-tank, said that the government wants to set a model in place for holistic development of a few identified islands while preserving and maintaining their natural ecosystem and rich bio-diversity.
The Department of Border Management under the Home Ministry had identified a total of 26 islands while the Aayog has further short-listed 10 out of these 26 locations.
"The overarching objective is to promote and implement the holistic development of selected islands based on an integral economic base for each island individually or following a cluster approach, which may eventually lead to these places emerging as maritime economy based international tourism destinations on a sustainable basis," the Aayog said.
At the September meeting chaired by Modi, a presentation was given on the vision for holistic development of these islands with inputs from NITI Aayog, Home Ministry and other senior officials.
NITI Aayog will clarify on queries, if any, related with the RFP on November 18 and the pre-bidding is slated to happen on November 25.
The applicants are required to send in their bid proposals by December 16.