According to United News of India (UNI), the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), BSNL and Andaman and Nicobar Administration signed a crucial tripartite agreement for Operation and Maintenance of Chennai- Andaman & Nicobar Islands Submarine Cable (CANI-SMC) Project on November 13, 2020.
The Government of India had approved the Chennai-Andaman and Nicobar Islands (CANI) Submarine Optical Fiber Cable project with an objective to connect Chennai Cable Landing Station (CLS) with Port Blair CLS and seven Islands viz. Swaraj Dweep, Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, Campbell Bay, Long Island and Rangat in September, 2016.
BSNL was nominated as the Implementing Agency and M/s NEC Infrastructures India (P) Ltd was engaged as the Executing Agency for implementing the project at a total project cost of Rs 1212 Crore (approx. US$175 million then).
The capital cost of the Chennai - Andaman & Nicobar Islands Submarine Cable (CANI-SMC) project was funded by USOF, DOT Government of India.
The Operation and Maintenance Cost of Rs 46.8 Cr (approx. US$6.3 million) per year will be borne by A & N Administration.
Amid the difficult times of COVID-19, Segment-1 (Chennai-Port Blair), Segment-2 (Port-Blair-Little Andaman), and Segment-6 (Port Blair-Swaraj Dweep) of the Chennai - Andaman & Nicobar Islands Submarine Cable (CANI-SMC) project was inaugurated on August 10, 2020. Remaining segments of the project were also completed and commissioned from September 30, 2020.
The project is also monitored by the Island Development Authority and MHA from time to time.
The A & N Administration signed tripartite operation and maintenance agreement with USOF and BSNL on November 13, 2020, for ensuring uninterrupted quality of service with Service Levels up to 99.99%.
The agreement has back to back arrangement for continued warranty support by M/s NEC Infrastructures Pvt. Ltd for equipment and SEAICOMA for Wet Plant (Submarine Part) for five years, which will be signed by BSNL (Implementing Agency).