New Delhi: The government on Wednesday justified plans to build an amusement park in an island in Andaman and Nicobar despite BJP objections on the ground that it housed a historic prison where many freedom fighters were incarcerated and also sent to gallows.
Maintaining that the Viper Island was in "gross neglect" and there was no activity there, Minister of State for Home R P N Singh said such a project would generate employment and attract more tourists.
He was replying to a calling attention motion in Lok Sabha moved by Bishnupada Ray (BJP) who said the Marina project, being developed by a Malaysian company, was coming up in the island where British rulers used to send freedom fighters.
Many prisoners faced brutal torture and were sent to gallows at this island prison, which came up before the Cellular Jail was built in Port Blair.
In his motion, Ray said that a Malaysian company has been permitted to develop 50-berth yacht Marina and a 30-bedded 3-star hotel at Viper Island.
"The area for Marina would be segregated and clearly earmarked causing no interference to the historical monuments," Singh said in his reply.
According to the Minister, the Andaman & Nicobar administration decided to set up the project after a "detailed feasibility study" that took into consideration that the island is uninhabited and techno-economically ideal for the Marina.
"Such a project would also result in generating employment opportunities for local unemployed youth of neighbouring islands apart from generating revenue for government," he said.