The Lakshadweep administration, which is under attack from the Opposition for its changes, on Thursday said it was laying the foundation for the future of islands in a planned way and to develop it on the lines of Maldives in two decades.
Rejecting allegations that all measures were taken without taking the people of the islands into confidence, Lakshadweep district collector S Asker Ali said those who are having vested interests and those involved in illegal business were carrying out a propaganda against the administration.
"Lakshadweep is very peaceful. It will remain peaceful. Now also in the islands it is very peaceful," Ali told a press conference in Kochi.
Justifying the decision to introduce the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act (PASA) in the islands, the official said this is to check incidents like drug abuse and increasing cases of sexual abuse of children.
"So when we plan to develop this island holistically, we cannot compromise on the law and order fronts. Lakshadweep is very peaceful. But now few cases are emerging," he said, responding to queries on various regulations of the new administration.
The press meet was held amid mounting protests from opposition parties against the "anti-people" policies of administrator Praful Patel in the islands.
The collector said the administration wanted to develop the islands like Maldives in the next 10 or 20 years.
The islands are very critical from a security point of view.
"So we are planning for a holistic development for these islands. From a security point of view Lakshadweep islands are very critical. So we cannot take a chance.
"Basically, we wanted to prepare ourselves for the requirements of the future considering the past experience and present emerging situations," Ali said.