Port Blair, Nov 30: Mr. Vinod, President, Andaman Association of Tour Operators in a letter to Lt Governor has taken up a host of issues pertaining to problems of tourism. He said that the problems are natural as well as man made by the policy makers of Andaman & Nicobar Administration. Natural hurdles were for a short period and can be overcome by various resources, but man made hurdles were created by the highly educated officers sitting in the Administration as highest office for coining policy for Tourism sector in Andaman & Nicobar Islands which will cause for a longer period unless and until some good foresight officers take care of it. The issues highlighted by him includes
1. Withdrawal of enhanced rate for Light & Sound Show:
The Light and Show running at Cellular Jail is in a bad shape out of fitted lights only 3 lights are in working condition and the sound system is also very dreadful. Department of Tourism should pay more attention to the amenities and services and without addressing it proposing to increase the rate is injustice to the visiting tourists which indirectly affects the livelihood of the local youth of this UT. Cellular Jail is a mark of Freedom struggle where the tourist / visitors were educating about the history of Pre – Freedom era and its struggle, it should not be commercialized. The increased rate of Light & Sound Show should be withdrawn immediately.
Your Excellency in this connection we had 3 meetings with Chief Secretary, A& N Administration and we were assured that our grievance’s in this regard will be taken care at the earliest but his excellency till date we have not got any solution regarding Sound & Light Show.
2. Development of Basic Infrastructure:
Basic Infrastructure is the backbone of the tourism
industry failing which all spots / events are unutilized. In the view of the above, kindly arrange to develop the existing destination with proper infrastructure required for tourism sector such as Development of Jetty and other allied services in Water sports complex, North Bay, Rain Shed in Corbyn’s Cove & Cellular Jail etc.
Solution: Please convene a meeting of Tourism advisory committee meeting for inspection and identification of required infrastructure in all tourism attraction islands.
3. Suspension of restriction:
To visit / stay at Ross Islands between 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm. With the above restriction the tourist who visits Ross Island prior to the above said time has to vacate the Island by 2.00 pm if the tourist has obtained the ticket for Light & Sound Show which is starting at 6.00 pm.
Solution : If the restriction to vacate the island withdrawn at-least the tourist will save the second entry and return ticket and if a Restaurant starts, it will provide the job opportunities to minimum of 10 members.
4. Expanding Sun set Tourism :
In Port Blair and around, so many venues are existing where only interest needs to be shown for developing as a tourist enjoying places such as Chatham Island (sea coast), Viper Island, Sippighat (near SAI Complex), Ross Island etc.
Solution : The concerned department to erect few kiosks with seating arrangement and restaurant for the visiting tourists. This action / service will generate employment opportunities to the local youth in these islands.
5. Identification of new destination:
With deep sorrow and regret to say that NITI Aayog / Govt. of India is coming forward to develop these islands as one of the best tourist destination in the world map but the lethargic approach of A & N Administration is taking our islands backward. The Administration should come forward to identify new destinations apart from the islands earmarked by the NITI Aayog, otherwise in the limited destinations crowd is increasing and un-satisfaction is spreading amongst the tourists.
6. Setting up of Single Window System:
The Govt. of India is implementing “Ease of Doing Business” as a scheme / guidelines to bring up the status of India in the world ranking for investment. Similarly, all States and UTs were directed to implement Ease of Doing Business by establishing Single Window System for registration and issue of licenses’ pertaining to all activities of Tourism sector including land conversion etc. Due to negligence by the Administration in the citizen friendly system, Andaman & Nicobar Islands stands in 31 ranks, out of the all states and UTs.
7. Plying of M V Coral Queen:
The vessel mv Coral Queen plying thrice in a week to Havelock and the boat is having capacity of 500 pax. The smaller capacity boat is plying daily in which the islanders also have to travel and tickets for tourists are very less.
Solution: The DSS may work out to ply M.V. Dering to Hut Bay and the sailing of M V Coral Queen may be sailed daily to Havelock.
8. Immediate implementation of Tourism Trade Policy Regulation:
Sir, the Andaman & Nicobar Administration is finalizing the Tourism Trade Policy Regulation since 2011 but due one or other reason for favoring certain individuals, it was not come into force. It should be brought under public domain for finalizing and implementation of Tourism Trade Policy Regulation immediately.
Your Excellency, in this regard Tourism department has sought suggestions from stake holders several times whenever a demand for implementation of Tourism Trade comes. But the Regulations still not finalization.
9. Larger Participation of Stake Holders:
We demand that the participation of stake holders should be increased in all policy making forum / bodies of Andaman & Nicobar Administration. The current Govt. of India is reaching to the stake holders whereas the Administration is trying to impose their directions of such a vast industry where so many livelihoodsare running.