NEW DELHI: PM Narendra Modi on Sunday unveiled a hamper of green initiatives for improving quality of life and preserving the pristine air quality in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, known for their beaches, world-class diving and isolated location.

The PM laid the foundation stone at Hope Town for a Rs 388 crore gas-based power plant to be built at Ferrarganj tehsil by NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam, a fully-owned subsidiary of state-run generation utility NTPC. The island administration signed a 25-year power purchase agreement on October 26 after power minister R K Singh cleared the proposal and entrusted the job to NTPC. A similar proposal by Petronet LNG, a private company promoted by public sector oil majors, was rejected after the island administration and the home ministry said land for the project could not be given to a private entity without bidding.

With 24×7 power in sight, Modi ushered in e-mobility for greening public transport in the islands by flagging off 20 electric vehicles. He also distributed solar induction cook stoves at Chouldari village, introducing 99 tsunami shelter homes to a clean, comfortable and easy cooking option. The power plant will be ready in 18 months to energise Port Blair and South Andaman. It will get clean-burning LNG from a floating storage and regassification unit, to be moored off the island by a supplier chosen through global bidding.

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