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Do you know about the Abdul Kalam Island?
Abdul Kalam Island, formerly known as Wheeler Island, is an island off the coast of Odisha in India on the chest inside the mighty Bay of Bengal near to the area of International business and commerce corridor Dhamra Port and also very much close to another small island which is famously known as Bhitarkanika Croc and Bird Sanctuary approximately 150 kilometres (93 miles) from the state capital of Bhubaneswar.

This is the only integrated test range maintaining a missile testing facility located in an Indian island and therefore extremely sensitive in terms of both the national and international importance. Well known missile scientist and one of our most lovable former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam spent most of his valuable time in the field of research and development of missile technology on this Wheeler Island, hence both the Odisha state government and the government of India have agreed on the issue of changing the name of Wheeler Island to Abdul Kalam Island as a mark of honour to the 1st citizen of India.

Abdul Kalam Island is located approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) off the eastern coast of India in the Bay of Bengal and about 70 kilometres (43 miles) south of Chandipur in Odisha. The island is about 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) in length and 390 acres (1.6 km2).

Abdul Kalam Island is the missile test facility for most of the missiles of India like Akash, Agni, Astra, BrahMos, Nirbhay, Prahaar, Prithvi, Shaurya Missile, Advanced Air Defence (AAD), and Prithvi Air Defence. Access to the test facility is only by ship, as there is no bridge or airport connecting the island to the mainland. There is a small helipad, but missile airframes and all supplies, construction materials and heavy equipments are sent to the island by ship via the sea route.

In May 2013, increasing concerns were drawn to the change in the island's topography owing to sand erosion as reported by various leading newspapers and media houses. Also, to restore the island the DRDO had also planted 2 lakh saplings as much needed precautions. Since the island is technically shoal seawater, it frequently sees sand-shifting. The situation is being monitored by geological experts from the vital national institute named as the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

In September 2015, it was declared that the island would be renamed to honour the late Indian President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

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