Friday, September 27, 2019

Tourism in Andaman Islands

TMI Bureau
Port Blair, Sept 25: Tourism gives Andaman & Nicobar Islands, a chance to show itself off and raise its profile in the world. The Andaman & Nicobar archipelago has received 4,02,393 tourists, including 11,818 foreigners in 2018, while it received 4,87,229 tourists, including 15,310 foreigners in 2017. Because of its natural beauty, beaches, flora and fauna and historically-significant landmarks in around 38 inhabited islands out of the 572 islets.
The theme of this year for World Tourism Day is "Tourism and Jobs - A Better Future for All", to be observed on September 27 as World Tourism Day across the world. The Day's purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.
Of course, the tourism sector provides opportunities in income generation and make up a significant proportion of both private, local, and national incomes. It will also provide jobs in the shape of hotels, bars, transport, activities, shops, and restaurants all need staffing. Tourism can provide much-needed employment for people.
But, oftentimes, most of the tourism industry is owned by big companies. They make the major profits, leaving local businesses with relatively little benefit. Sometimes, tourism becomes so focal that other forms of income-generation are neglected and an economic dependence on tourism forms. This is fine in good times, but it can leave the country vulnerable to economic ruin in the long run and can contribute to political upheaval or natural disasters.
The A&N Islands, known for its rich history and culture and just need to show off in a skillful way, which is lacking since long back, unfortunately. Especially, the growing number of buildings in the A&N Islands most of them are unplanned and violated. Despite of having natural resources available in the islands such as cane, bamboo and timber, the RCC structures are been promoted in a disastrous way.
Most of the tourists are all the way touring here to enjoy the beaches, but one of the main attractions in A&N Islands i.e. beaches are found closed at many places and stop the tourists to venture into sea beaches. Due to crocodile attacks inside and outside protection nets in the recent past at various beaches, afterwards, the authority has banned the entry into sea. No concrete arrangement is made yet to allow people to enter to sea, which leads disappointment to the tourists these days.
"In every beach a board is displaying crocodile warning, is here no place to enjoy the beach? And no proper directions or rate chart is seen to know the importance/ attractions of place". A tourist in a common conversation revealed.

Helpline number for counseling to addicts

Port Blair, Sept 25: To provide necessary clinical and counseling services to persons addicted to alcohol and substance (drugs) abuse, Department of Social Welfare has launched two helpline services with the mobile numbers 8900979165/ 8900979155. The care givers, guardians, parents, friends and the persons addicted may contact the numbers for assistance.
The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India has also set up a 24X7 National Toll Free Drug De-addiction Helpline Numbers 1800-11-0031 to help the victims of drug abuse, their family and society at large, a communication said here.

Time to revive ‘wells’ in A&N Islands

TMI Correspondent
Port Blair, Sept 18: Total dependency of tap water leads to extinct the ring well resources in the modern era. But, when any natural disaster like earthquake hits the islands, people use to rush to wells or ponds for whatsoever water.
Islanders can remember the 2004's earthquake, when water supply had been suspended for a couple of weeks due to pipelines damaged in tremor. People used to seek and rush to every available well in urban areas to manage the requirement of water at households. Anyhow, the PBMC and APWD supplied limited drinkable water through water tankers at different parts in urban areas during December 2004 earthquake in the A&N Islands, till the rectification of pipelines.
As per a research in South Andaman, it has come to know that during British era about 9000 wells were constructed with the provision of 10 wells to each village. After Independence also, proper maintenance continued and approved subsidies for construction new ring wells, then.
But, now after 73 years of Independence, the increase and influx of population brought the congestion state, where now, space not left even to walk two persons at one go in colonies, how come wells survive? The number of wells is now reduced to about 1600, which can be put in use and maintain by PBMC to keep them revival.
As per another research, it is also came to know through reliable sources that, the well water in urban areas in South Andaman are found unhygienic and not safe for utilities, because well aquifers through layers of rock and soil with water flowing through their small pores from under earth's surface. Consequently, due to dense population in urban areas the wells tend to produce unhygienic water.
However, under the ongoing Jal Shakti Abhiyan, if efforts are made to revival of wells in A&N Islands, partially water conservation will be come into force.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Cellular Jail to be depicted as a part of 'Mini India segment of Bharat Vandana Park' in New Delhi

Port Blair, Sept 11: The Delhi Development Authority (DDA), an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, GoI has a proposal to develop an iconic park as "Bharat Vandana Park" at New Delhi. Besides other attractions, the main component of the park will be an exclusive area depicting replica of an important monument from each State/ UT of India. This "Mini India Park" segment apart from other facilities will have miniature version of identified iconic/ historical monuments from all parts of India.
The DDA has requested the A&N Administration to identify one historical icon/ Monuments from the UT of A&N Islands to be a part of the Mini India, to showcase the rich heritage of our UT. Considering the historical significance and sanctity of the Cellular Jail, A & N Administration has decided to nominate the National Memorial Cellular Jail to be a part of "Mini India segment of Bharat Vandana Park.
The Cellular Jail at Port Blair, where several prominent Freedom Fighters were imprisoned and subjected to relentless torture has a central place in the history of Indian Freedom Movement. The depiction of Cellular Jail as a part of "Mini India segment of Bharat Vandana Park will strengthen the strong emotional connect of the monument with the Indians.

Jal Shakti Abhiyan : A&N Islands can be capable to supply clean water to mainland, if properly managed

TMI Bureau
Port Blair, Sept 04: Of course, awareness is an ultimate solution to any problem, which offers more than just hope though. It can to lead to action, to be effective in efforts in upcoming years. It is also important to make awareness among students and young generation to let them know the value of water.
Obviously, in the view of the scarcity of water during all seasons except monsoon prevailing in the mainland India, as a solution to this essential problem "Jal Shakti Abhiyan" was initiated by Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modiji in all over the country in mitigating the water scarcity in upcoming years.
Till now, the A&N Islands are being blessed with sufficient rainfall and water, but it all depends on human that, how do they manage the water to fulfill the requirement of human essential needs? Beside monsoon, one can observe rain fall take place in almost all seasons in these Andaman & Nicobar Islands. But letting water easily flow to the sea is definitely a human made big mistake.
For an example, crores of funds provided by the administration to various Gram Panchayats to construct check dams in their respective villages to conserve the water, and work also done as well. But, as per reports, few got damaged in few years, and the Pradhans of respective villages were managed to fulfill the requirement of water in villages by outsourcing water supply since many years during summer seasons.
Secondly, approximately 5 years ago, crores worth machinery installed at Chatham to purify sea water and to supply for community usage purpose. Moreover, steel water tanks also installed at many prime locations, but are now left just to rust as purposeless steel box, without pouring a single drop of proposed 'purified sea water' into the tanks since then. Reasons for the failure of the project, best know the administration.
However, if properly manage water resources in the A&N Islands, our Islands can be capable to supply water to the needy places in our country and as well as neighboring countries.

Buniyadabad residents peeved over narrow footpath

TMI Correspondent
Port Blair, Sept 04: That narrow footpaths, where even two persons cannot walk at one go, exists in Port Blair Smart City at many wards in Port Blair Municipal area.
The construction of a narrow footpath at Buniyadabad, a middle portion of which is insufficient even for two human bodies to pass through has led to resentment among the residents of the area. Several complaints have been made to the concerned authorities to rectify the situation, but nothing has so far been done in the matter.
A group of residents says that, "The population is growing by time and the uneasiness will also grow in future, if not taken action in time". The residents in the vicinity of the footpath have reasons to feel neglected and uneasy for their grievances having been not met for quite some time now. "We don't know as to what prompted the authorities to construct such a cozy path. The passage in a portion of the path is so narrow that it is difficult for two persons to walk side by side", pointed out some aggrieved residents. "We also wonder as to what would happen in the event of any emergencies when ambulance requires to enter or for that matter fire tenders needing entry into the area for salvage operations in case of fire mishap. It is absolutely not possible for either any ambulance or the fire tender to find their ways through the footpath," said another group.
Peeved by the alleged inaction of the authorities, 58 odd residents of Buniyadabad under Municipal Ward No.8 have written letter to the Lt. Governor with copies to Deputy Commissioner and other concerned officers recently, by pleading about the widening of a footpath in the greater public interest.
When contacted, Junior Engineer (PBMC), AIR Site Office, Shri Rajendran said that, "We are ready to construct the footpath, but we need allotted land to do so. If the revenue authority allot land and direct us, we can definitely do the needful".
Speaking to this correspondent, the Revenue Official of the area Shri Loknath, has informed that 'I have already inspected the area and sent a report to the Tehsildar few days ago after finding the demand of the residents of the area, genuine and needful. However, it is now up to Tehsildar, who will decide and direct what to do further', he said.

Celebration of 'Rashtriya POSHAN Maah' begins Isles ; LG asks Social Welfare Deptt. to make best efforts towards complete elimination of malnutrition from Isles

Port Blair, Sept 04: The entire month of September will be celebrated as the 'Rashtriya POSHAN Maah'. The Prime Minister's Overreaching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment - POSHAN Abhiyaan is a multi-ministerial convergence mission with the vision to address malnutrition with a targeted approach by 2022. In the A&N Islands, the Department of Social Welfare, A&N Administration, in association with line departments is celebrating 'Rashtriya POSHAN Maah' under Poshan Abhiyan during the month of September 2019, focusing to enhance the coverage of beneficiaries through awareness campaigns and innovative initiatives such as 'POSHAN Bhagidari' and promoting 'POSHAN Par Charcha'.
The Lt. Governor, A&N Islands, Admiral DK Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd), launched the 'Rashtriya POSHAN Maah' celebration in the Islands during a function held in the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Auditorium here this morning. 
Addressing the gathering, the Lt. Governor said, the National figure which shows that 38 percent of our children come under stunting and wasting is a matter of great concern which will adversely affect their physical and mental growth and their studies as well. However, the percentage of children under this category is less in A&N Islands when compared to the national average.
The Lt. Governor said, malnutrition is not related to shortage of money alone as both the urban and rural people are affected by it. A balanced diet is the only answer to reduce malnutrition which is possible only through creating rigorous awareness programmes and better monitoring system of the children under the Poshan Abhiyan Scheme of the Govt. of India, said the Lt Governor.
Pointing that the status of A&N Islands is better when compared to the national average, the Lt Governor asked the Social Welfare Department not to limit itself to just a month long programme but make it a continuous effort till malnutrition is completely eliminated from the across the Islands. He further directed the Department to ensure that no child is left to be covered under this scheme in the entire A&N Islands. "Awareness about malnutrition has to be created at every level in the entire UT, involving the Gram Panchayat and Zila Parishad Members for better results towards achieving the goal of malnutrition free villages and Isles, as the PRI members public representatives are better connected to the masses" he said.  
The Lt. Governor also said that there is no dearth of funds under the Poshan Abhiyan scheme. Apart from the Central funding, the UT Administration has provided funds for the additional supply of milk to the Anganwadi Children. The only thing needed to achieve the goal is to increase the reach, sensitization and proper education, the Lt. Governor added. He urged the PRIs to shoulder their responsibilities alongwith the A&N Administration so that benefits of this scheme reach every child.
The Lt. Governor also felicitated best field level ICDS functionaries Smt. Kamlesh Kumari, Sreeni Kumari, Minoti Biswas and Ms. K. Balmati. Best couple and best mother-in-law awards were also presented.
In his address, the Member of Parliament, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, while appreciating the Department of Social Welfare for bringing down the percentage of malnutrition in the Isles to some extent, urged for meeting the basic objective of the Poshan Abhiyan Scheme rolled out by the Central Government i.e providing better health care to women and child and curbing malnutrition by 2022.
The MP urged for covering more children under this scheme by opening more Anganwadi Centres in pockets of North & Middle Andaman and Nicobar Group of Islands so that the children of that area get the benefits of Anganwadi Centres. He further stated that Poshan Abhiyan scheme should not confined to AWCs only and it should be made a mass movement by taking the awareness in every household and by involving every concern so that they will reap the benefit of the scheme in the long run.
The MP also urged the Administration for incorporating natural foods such as coconut, fish and locally grown fruits of these Islands apart from the routine foods earmarked for the Anganwadi Children. He said these foods are in abundance in every nook & corner of these Islands, which will not only increase the nutritional status among the children but will also increase the economy of the farmers of these Islands once we start purchasing from them.
Referring to the 'Beti Padhao & Beti Bachao' scheme, the MP said, in A&N Islands, the girl students are being provided better education to lead a dignified life. He urged for moving one step further from the basic parameters of the scheme to provide quality education to the girl students on an upper scale so that they become engineers, doctors, lawyers and IAS officers and A&N becomes a role model and torchbearer for others states.
The function was also attended by the Principal Secretary Finance, Shri Vikram Dev Dutt, the Adhayksh ZPSA, Shri Sanjib Kumar Mandal, the Chairperson, PBMC, Smt. Anusia Devi, the Chairperson, A&N SSWB, Smt. Poonam Arora and a large gathering of Anganwadi Workers, Women Self Help Group Members and general public.
In her address, the Secretary, Social Welfare, Smt. Geetika Sharma informed that as per NFHS-4 Data (2015-2016), the rate of stunting and wasting in A&N Islands is 23.30% and 18.90% respectively. As per survey by the Department in June 2019, the rate of stunting and wasting is 21.49% and 11.61%. The Data bank of malnourished children has been created for individual tracking, she added.
The aim of POSHAN Abhiyaan is to reduce malnutrition among children upto 6 years, pregnant women & lactating mothers by 2022 through awareness, convergence and monitoring. The Social Welfare Department has initiated convergence programmes with line Departments. 720 Smart Phones have been distributed amongst Anganwadi Workers for uploading daily activities, reports and online monitoring and to facilitate growth monitoring. Devices like 720 Stadiometer, Infantometer, Weighing Scale (Mother & child and Infant) have also been provided to Anganwadi Centres. The Supplementary Nutrition Programme has been strengthened with additional supply of milk. To make the Poshan Abhiyan a complete success the Anganwadi Centres will be further strengthened and 92 more Centres will be opened.
Food fortification of salt and oil is being initiated, kitchen garden will be developed in selected Anganwadi Centres and individual tracking of children in AWCs & Pre-Primary schools have been planned, the Secretary informed. 
A fancy dress show in which the tiny tots of the anganwadi centres dressed as nutritious fruits & vegetables approaching the stage and the way they described its benefits, was enjoyed by all. 
The function concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by the Director Social Welfare, Shri Shailendra Kumar Singh.

Modern friendship, Alert! : Among three friends, one missing

The descriptive roll of the missing boy is Hair:- Black and he was wearing dark blue color T-Shirt and black color pant.  The general public have been requested to share/ pass on information with Police in, if anyone found the above said missing boy wandering in their area to 03192-232100, 03192-232400, 9434288673, 9434298797. Such person will be rewarded suitably, a press release from Police Department said.

TMI Bureau
Port Blair, Aug 28: 'On 18/08/2019, a case vide Crime No. 463/19 U/s 279 IPC, has been registered at PS Aberdeen, against one Akash Kumar S/o Late Sanjeev Kumar (24 yrs) R/o ABC Colony, Shadipur, Port Blair. The said accused person is missing from the spot i.e. bay of Carbyn's Cove, since the day of accident and his whereabouts are not known to anyone', a press release says.
"An accident took place at midnight of 17/08/2019, while three friends Akash Kumar (24 yrs), Utkarsh Kumar (22 yrs) and Ritesh Majumdar (20 yrs) traveling between Corbyn Chowk and Corbyn's Cove  on a car (i.e. Hyudai i20 Asta Alight) regd. no. AN01 M 4740, when unfortunately due to over-speed at a turning before LPG Godown, the vehicle left the road and went down into the left hand side creek. Anyhow, Utkarsh Kumar and Ritesh Majumdar came out from the car and creek, and screamed for Akash Kumar, but they did not able to find his friend Akash Kumar's whereabouts there, and the incident was reported to the nearest Police Station at 01.35 hrs by Utkarsh Kumar," sources said.
'During the Police investigation, extensive search has been conducted by taking the assistance of PMF staff, boat & divers Forest, Coast Guard, at the spot and nearby places along with the assistance of villagers, friends and relatives of missing person, Dog squad was also engaged to trace the missing boy but in vain. Even after making extensive efforts for the search of the missing person he could not be located. Search is still on,' the press release further added.
Whereas, Smti. Subhashini, the mother of missing youth says that, "my son is a good swimmer, if there was a matter of water level at the incident premises. Moreover, I am a half paralyzed women and he used to pick and drop me to the office, and I know about his driving style". "My son must not be present in the car during the incident happened near creek before LPG Godown. Since that night, Akash is missing, while the police force is trying all possible way to search for any clue regarding my child, but till now they could not find any concrete evidence", Smti. Subashini further added.
Suspecting something suspicious in the entire episode with her son, Smti Subhashini has requested the authorities to properly investigate the matter in all possible ways.

National Sports Day; 9 prominent sports personalities of our country spoke in islands

TMI Correspondent
Port Blair, Aug 28: To mark the National Sport Day on Aug 29 this year in the islands, to promote the sports amongst especially students and youths of the islands, as per the vision and belief of Member of Parliament, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, despite having limited resources in the field of sports and games in these islands, still the youths can perform well in the sports and games like football, water sports, cycling, etc. Besides, it has been observed that the younger generation are drifting away from sports and are more inclined towards electronic gadgets & smart devises, it also been seen many social evils are also attracting the younger generation.
However, to promote sports in our islands, the Member of Parliament, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma has proposed organize the National Sports Day in a different way this year. As per the programme, many prominent sports personalities of our country will be present their motivational speeches to push the islands' sports persons, as well as to draw a road map for the sports policies of the islands.
The prominent sports persons to be present in the National Sport Day celebration in the islands on Aug 29, 2019 at 9.30 am at Dr. BR Ambedkar Auditorium are: Shri SV Sunil (Hokey); Shri Pragyan Ojha (Indian Cricketer); Shri Vikas Dahia (Hokey); Smti. Chandro Tomar (Shooting); Shri Mayur Dumasia (differently abled cricketer & cyclist); Smti. Poulomi Ghatak (Table Tennis); Shri Jagdeep Singh (Kabaddi); Shri Rahul Anvikar (Volleyball); Shri Dinesh Kumar (Basketball) and other islands' prominent sports persons.

‘Try Back to Nature’ - it tastes wonderful ; People urged to refrain from using plastic straws

Port Blair, Aug 28: Over the years, plastic has been one of the larger polluters to tourism areas. A pristine tourist spot is spoilt by the use of plastic. The Secretary, (IP&T), in her limited touring of Port Blair has come across many hotels, restaurants, roadside eateries, beachside, tender coconut water sellers, who are using plastic straws. The areas around is littered with these straws, which are not only one time usage but also choke the environment.
As an input for improving the tourism experience, the IP&T Secretary, Dr Pooja Joshi has urged the people to make efforts to go 'Back to Nature' and completely ban the use of plastic straws for the same. The tourists may find it a unique experience to drink 'Daab' (tender coconut) in its natural way in Andamans. A small effort can go a long way in marking the positive intervention of Andaman Administration towards the goals set by the Prime Minister on reducing usage of plastic, a communication said.