Administration lines up big tourism plans

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
28 May 2017

The Andaman and Nicobar Administration has set its eyes on promoting tourism in a big way besides showcasing the rich heritage and culture of this territory. Keen on using to the hilt the Swadesh Darshan and other schemes of the Central Government, the Tourism Department has reportedly identified Cellular Jail along with prominent beaches in different parts of these islands for development of the industry.
According to information, the administration has plans to upgrade facilities at National Memorial Cellular Jail which includes augmentation of seating gallery for the Sound and Light Show, strengthening the foundation of the memorial, upgrade the Veer Savarkar Park and illuminate of the façade of the Cellular Jail near Atlanta Point. Reports say that the administration is also working on plans to improve facilities and safety measures at beaches like Ross and Smith, Baludera, Ramnagar,  Lalaji Bay, Lakshmanpur,  Bharatpur,  Elephant, Kalapathar etc. Under schemes for the Union Territories, the administration has formulated plans to introduce  ropeway from Port Blair to Ross Island, Tented accommodation facilities at Neil, Long Island and Baratang, introduce Submersible scooters for adventure water sports, Canopy Walk at Chidiyatapu besides launched promotional campaigns in a big way.
“A series of projects are lined up for execution to develop Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a world class tourist destination. Besides developing beaches and  historical monuments, the administration mulling over introducing e-auto rickshaws for visitors with Solar Recharging Stations in different tourist spots. Wayside amenities along the Andaman Trunk Road at Baratang, Scuba Diving Centre are set to be available soon in the Middle Andaman region,” said an official of the Tourism Department on conditions of anonymity. 
“Tapping renewable energy sources is also part of tourism development plans. In the first phase, the administration plans to introduce battery operated vehicles at Havelock and Hut Bay. Vehicles run on diesel will go off the roads in these areas. Battery operated vehicles are light weight and will cause less wear and tear of the roads. The administration intends to keep the inter-island locations completely free from pollution. There are many projects lined up for development of tourism in these islands, but the support of the islanders is imperative. Plans are prepared at the higher levels but executed by lower level officials. Like some of our littoral neighbours, these islands have tremendous potential to be developed as a world class tourist destination and this is possible only through the support of all stakeholders,” added the official.
The Director of Tourism, Mr Amit Anand said that execution of all schemes in the tourism sector is being closely monitored. “The administration is committed to holistic development of these islands and to showcase Andamans prominently in the world tourism atlas. Various schemes for development of  tourism launched by the government is being implemented here in the right earnest and the sector is poised to witness rapid growth in the days to come,” he added.