Bearatang Tourist Boat Owners Association threaten Chakka Jam on Aug 4

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
26 Jul 2018

The Baratang Tourist Fiber Boat Owners Association has threatened to stage a Chakka Jam at Baratang in Middle Andaman on the 4th of August this year against the proposed move of the administration to restrict the number of visitors to prominent tourist destinations in the region. Speaking to EOI, Mr. G.Sanju Kumar, President of the Association said that more than 1500 visitors land at Baratang daily during tourist seasons to visit the Limestone Caves, Mud Volcano and Parrot Island. “But it is now learnt that the administration has plans to put a cap on the number of visitors to just 420 per day. Presently, around 110 Fiber boats operate at Baratang and if the proposed cap is enforced, only 42 boat operators will get employed in a day and the remaining 68 will be rendered jobless. The proposed carrying capacity formula of administration will also hit 300 odd local youths who are operating tourist vehicles from Port Blair for Baratang on daily basis. Moreover, hundreds of people, who have availed loan for Fiber boats and tourist vehicles will face untold hardships if the cap is imposed. We are completely against the move,” said Mr G Sanju.
Demanding timely registration of FRB boats, the association suggested that the Chief Port Administrator of the Port Management Board be made the Registering Authority. “The presently authority, Deputy Commissioner Office is overburdened with various works and suffers from acute shortage of manpower. As a result, registration of boats takes around 3 to 5 months against the stipulated period of 45 days. Making PMB as registering authority will make the process more easier and hassle free as both the Chief Surveyor and IV Surveyor reports to Chief Port Administrator of PMB. Besides, one time registration needs to be implemented for FRB tourist boats as routine renewal process consumes around 3-5 months forcing boat operators to face losses. The administration should also consider implementing Single window registration process for tourist boats,” suggested Mr Sanju expressing hope that the administration will come out with a time-bound solution to the issues.