Port, Shipping & Aviation

Lakshadweep is a group of islands lying scattered in the Arabian Sea.  Its location is between 8 degree and 12 degree 30 minutes North Latitude and between 71 degree and 74 degree at a distance ranging from 200 kms (111 Nm) to 400 kms(222 Nm) from the south west coast of Indian Peninsula. All islands are surrounded by lagoons which are fenced by coral reefs all around. These reefs provide a natural shelter from rough seas, besides adding beauty to the islands.

Being away and isolated these remote islands in the past had been connected to the mainland with the indigenous sailing vessels built by the islanders themselves.  It took months for these vessels to reach the mainland.

The only agriculture crop sufficiently cultivated in these islands is Coconut. Fishing is the another trade that the people are mostly engaged in.  Cultivation of other crops like vegetables and fruits are only nominal.  The area of the islands itself is not sufficient to take up the agriculture activities in large scale.  Again the limitation of space and the environmental peculiarities of the islands do not permit for any industrial establishment.  Therefore, the people here have to depend fully to the mainland for each and every requirement for their existence.  From a hair pin to construction materials has to be imported to the islands from mainland.

It is human to fall ill.  It is human to aspire for better education.  It is human to long for a better and more convenient life.  In these islands, though  have primary health centres have been established by the administration, any major case  has to be referred to mainland or to the only major hospital available at Kavaratti, the capital island of the territory.  Educational Institutes do exist and excel in whatever they have.  But for professional courses above the plus two level the students  have to go to a college in mainland.

With the increase in the population and their propensity to travel between the islands as well as mainland, the traditional vessels became incapable of meeting the increased demands.  After the territory becoming directly under the Central Government in the year 1956 the administrative machinery have been striving to enhance the facilities of travel and transportation of Cargo to these islands.  The Central Government, has always been enormously benevolent.  It was in 1980 a full fledged department of Port was established under the Administration of the Union territory.

Air Service between the islands and mainland and inter island have been started with Pawan Hans and Indian Airlines.  Indian Air Lines operate flights between Kochi and Agatti. Nine Seater DAUPHIN  Helicopter of Pawan Hans plies between the islands and to the mainland on emergency as an ambulance.