Swiftlet Nest Guest House cries for attention

Report by: 
10 Aug 2018

Though Avis Island in the North Andaman region has been selected among three other islands for holistic development of tourism by the Island Development Agency, a prominent Guest House of the Tourism Department located a few kilometres away from the headquarter region of the district stands testimony to the apathy of the administration towards ensuring timely renovation and maintenance of infrastructure constructed from public money. Swiftlet Nest Guest House, nestled atop an idyllic hill at Karmatang in Mayabunder, which once attracted large number of visitors, stands in ruins for the past many years and have been reportedly overtaken by snakes and rodents. Even furniture and electrical items of the Guest House, located close to the famous Karmatang beach, have reportedly been plundered from the premises for total lack of watch and ward staff. Despite estimates submitted by the Andaman Public Works Department for revamp of the Guest House, the Tourism Department has till date failed to initiate steps for renovation of Swiftlet Nest Guest House.
As per reports, the building equipped with all the modern conveniences, was originally built sometime during 1998 by the then Lt. Governor, Mr. Ishwari Prasad Gupta in the presence of former Member of Parliament, Late Manoranjan Bhakta. Consisting of four double- bedded A/C rooms, four double-bedded non-A/C rooms and two four- bedded dormitories besides accommodation facilities for the Manager and other staff, the guest house hummed with activity those days. But the Tourism Department fell short of running the Guest House professionally after a few years. From trying subcontract the Guest House to private parties to a couple of attempts to revive the ace tourist accommodation, the Tourism Department flopped in all counts and subsequently abandoned the Guest House completely squandering lakhs of government money spend on the construction of the building.
“This guest house was considered amongst the best guest houses owned by the Tourism Department by the visiting tourists in the North Andaman region, as most of them including Govt. officials wished to stay in this guest house rather the ones owned by APWD.  However, lack of interest and callousness on the part of Tourism officials to run this remotely located guest house has led to this excellent building  losing its glamour  and finally becoming a haunted place. What visiting tourists liked the most about this guest house was its location close to the famous Karmatang beach. The APWD has submitted an estimate of around Rs 70 lakh for renovation of the building, but the Tourism Department has so far failed to get the proposal approved from the authority concerned. The administration should ensure optimal utilisation of facilities constructed from public money,” said a PRI member of North Andaman.