Tourism poised to become a big industry in isles: LG

Port Blair
10 May 2018

A meeting was organized by the Andaman Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI) with the visiting delegates of Young FICCI Ladies Organization (YFLO), Delhi in the conference hall of Megapode Resort here on Thursday. The Lt. Governor, Admiral DK Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.) was the chief guest of the occasion.  The President, ACCI, Mr Girish Arora, Member, ACCI, Mr Mohd. Jadwet, Chairperson, YFLO, Ms. Atashi Singania, members of Young FICCI Ladies Organization were present on the occasion.
Addressing the delegates, the Lt. Governor presented an overview of the A&N Islands and remarked that tourism is poised to become a big industry in the Islands as a number of projects are coming up, which will further boost the tourism sector in a big way. However, there are some limitations pertaining to availability of land, he said adding that out of the available 8500 sq km land, only 6% of the land is available for developmental purpose while the remaining are declared as tribal reserves, wild life sanctuaries, deemed forest etc.
Regarding connectivity, the Lt. Governor remarked that the currently installed capacity of telecom connectivity is 1.3 GBPS through satellite beam and efforts are on to further augment this to 2.7 GBPS by the year end. In addition to this, the sub-marine Optical Fibre Cable Project will connect Chennai with Port Blair and five other Islands, which will bring about a paradigm shift in further improvement of telecom connectivity in Isles, he said adding that this will also provide the platform for setting up of IT enabled services in the Islands in the coming days.
The Lt. Governor mentioned that the air connectivity from mainland to Port Blair is considerably good, with 26-27 flights operating daily, connecting Port Blair with other parts of country. Presently, there are four runways i.e. Port Blair, Car Nicobar, Campbell Bay and Shibpur at Diglipur. The run ways of Port Blair and Car Nicobar can be operated for larger aircraft while the extension of the run way at Campbell and Shibpur are also being taken up, he said. Efforts are on to ensure these 4 air strips in the Islands are capable of operating any aircrafts, he said.
Regarding Inter–Island connectivity, the Lt. Governor said that there are 30 helipads spread across the Islands and adequate number of helicopters is required to improve inter-islands air connectivity. Accordingly, the A&N Administration has floated the global expression of interest (EOI) for operators to come and operate any small passenger aircraft/ helicopter or sea plane, he said.
The Lt. Governor also mentioned about the efforts being taken in improving the road connectivity as well as Inter-Island sea route connectivity.   He said, the two bridges which will connect Port Blair with the northern part of the Islands will come up. The work for Humfrey strait in progress while the work for Middle strait bridge will also be initiated soon, said the Lt. Governor adding that once the bridge projects are completed, it will reduce the journey duration from Port Blair to Diglipur from the present 10-12 hours to five hours.
Regarding sea route connectivity, the Lt. Governor stated that ferry services are being operated by the Administration as well as private players for Inter-Islands purpose besides the operation of a cruise ship. In addition to the existing fleet, two more large ship of 1200 pax are under construction at Cochin Ship Yard, he said.
Referring to the development of more tourism destination in Isles, the Lt. Governor said that the A&N Administration and NITI Aayog have identified four Islands for holistic development. They included Ross & Smith Island, Long Island, Avis Island and Little Andaman. The Lt. Governor informed that the A&N Administration along with  NITI Aayog is also planning to host the ‘Investors’ Conference’ in Delhi, either by this month end or the coming month,  during which projects related to development of Isles and investment opportunities will be discussed and negotiated.
The Lt. Governor also interacted with the delegates of YFLO and answered queries related to the welfare of tribes of A&N Islands, investment opportunities, plastic waste management, promotion of Isles’ tourism, agriculture, education and health facilities. He also welcomed the suggestions put forth by the delegates for sustainable development of the Islands.
The Lt. Governor presented a ‘Coffee Table’ book to the Chairperson, YFLO, Ms. Atashi Singania. The member of YFLO also presented a ‘Green Certificate’ to the Lt. Governor on the occasion.
Earlier, the Chairperson, YFLO, Ms. Atashi Singania welcomed the gathering and presented an overview of the formation, objectives and activities of Young FICCI Ladies Organization (YFLO), Delhi chapter. She informed that YFLO aims to provide platforms to women entrepreneurs from diverse professional and educational backgrounds besides empowering them through vocational/educational trainings, skilling programmes at grass root levels and implementation of CSR activities. The programme culminated with the vote of thanks proposed by Member, ACCI, Mr Mohd. Jadwet.