Thursday, November 21, 2019

World Congress on Leptospirosis held at ICMR-RMRC, Port Blair

Port Blair, Nov 20: The Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) Port Blair, World Health Organisation (WHO) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) jointly organised a two day World Congress on Leptospirosis at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Auditorium of RMRC on Nov 18 & 19, 2019. The event was formally inaugurated on Nov 18 in the conference hall of RMRC, Port Blair.
Addressing the inaugural function, Dr. Nhu Nguyen Tran Minh, Team Leader at WHO Country Office, India World Health Organization, said that the WHO is looking forward to the documentation of the outcome of the congress that will be drafted at the end of congress. He said that a special session was conducted to get suggestions of delegates from various countries regarding the current burden of leptospirosis in their respective countries and on management of leptospirosis.
Dr. John Timony of Kentucky University, who chaired the inaugural function, suggested that a document collating all the recommendations of the congress may be brought out as "Port Blair Declarations on Leptospirosis".
Dr. Marga Goris of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), Amsterdam, the Netherlands, told that the International Society will take appropriate action based on the experiences on addressing the challenge of leptospirosis shared by the delegates during the sessions.
Dr. P. Vijayachari welcomed all the delegates and spoke on the genesis and importance of the congress in the context of the global climate change and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Shiv Shanker Singh, Senior Medical Consultant, G.B. Pant Hospital said that the RMRC not only identified the cause of Andaman Haemorrhagic Fever as Leptospira but has made tremendous contributions in understanding various diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya and pandemic Influenza in the islands. The Congress will conclude today and will be followed by an International Training Workshop on Laboratory Methods on Leptospirosis, in which participants from several Southeast Asian countries are participating. 
Sixty eight delegates are participating in the congress, which includes 23 delegates are from 11 countries viz. USA, Brazil, The Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Iran, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand and 16 national experts.

Shri Kuldeep shares his vision for A&N Islands' development

Port Blair, Nov 20: As part of National Press Day celebration, all media persons were felicitated on Nov 17, 2019 by Cooperative Sector, A&N islands at a function at Megapode Resort, Port Blair.
Speaking on the occasion as chief guest, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Member of Parliament and Chairman, Project Coordination Committee, National Cooperative Union of India said, media here has been contributing immensely in the progress and development by way of disseminating useful and relevant information. It has been bringing issues concerning the people lands before the society, system and administration which the authorities strive to resolve. In its bid to pay back their dues, since last 2-3 years, the Cooperative Sector has been felicitating the media persons for their outstanding contributions in the society at large, he said. He also narrated about how cooperative sector has been striving to bring positive changes in the society and help improve the life of the people of the islands. He said that as a Member of Parliament, he has been focusing on four vital issues. The first being water which he said is an important component of life. He has submitted proposals to the UT administration on enhancing the water storage capacity. He stated that while UTs like Delhi provides water to crores of people with marginal rainfall, we have not been unable to provide adequate quantity of water to a population of around 4 lakh despite receiving more than 3000 mm of rainfall annually.  "I have always wished people of these islands should get adequate and quality water 24x7 round the year. In the past, I proposed development of catchment areas from Buniyadabad to Dundus Point Jetty so as to ensure optimal use of rainwater. Similarly, water supply projects at Flat Bay, Rutland, Phongy Balu should be expedited. All these sources can be connected with pipelines so that water can be supplied to any region that experiences water shortage. Construction of rain water reservoirs, lakes, ponds etc in different parts of these islands will also help solve this problem to a great extent. Tapping water sources in Great Nicobar Island can also generate employment if water is exported to dry States like Chennai and supplied to cargo ships passing through the Malacca Straits as per their requirement. Even water can be transported to areas like Diglipur by laying pipelines from Port Blair to Diglipur.
The other important sector is tourism which has tremendous growth potential to generate employment. However, promotion of tourism hugely depends on availability of abundance water. Tourism can generate both revenue and employment if the water issue is resolved and our Islands become a surplus water State. Improvement in the health sector is also a focus area for the Member of Parliament. He is of the view that despite adequate funds, the Health sector here still needs massive improvement. Health sector in the islands can be improved only when each and every health centre, spread across the islands are provided with proper health care facilities, latest and innovative technology, health care equipments, staff & doctors. Improvement in the sports sector is another focus area, the Member of Parliament is working on. He said that there is a need to generate the interest of the youth towards sports and games. In view of the facts that the younger generations are more inclined towards drugs and banned substances, more sports infrastructure facilities should be created so that more and more youth can be motivated towards sports and games. He also informed that he has provided funds under MPLAD for renovation and repair of three stadiums in the Islands. He said the development of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands can be possible only when the islands have its own Legislative Assembly. Unless until a Legislative Assembly is formed in the islands. He further informed that he has placed three bills pertaining to the development of the islands for discussion in this session of Parliament.

National Press Day celebrated befittingly in isles

Port Blair, Nov 20: The Directorate of Information, Publicity and Tourism, A & N Administration along with the local media fraternity celebrated National Press Day at Megapode Resort on Nov 16, 2019. The programme was begun with a fabulous welcome song by the students of RGT Public School.
Meanwhile, a seminar on the topic 'Reporting-Interpretation: A Journey' was organized on the occasion. The Secretary, IP&T, Dr Pooja Joshi was the chief guest of the function, while the Director, IP&T, Dr. Angel Bhati Chauhan and Deputy Director, PIB, Port Blair, Mr Nilesh Kumar Kalbhor graced the occasion as the guests of honor.
Greeting the media fraternity, Dr Pooja Joshi, said that freedom of press is essence of a vibrant democracy. "Since the country's independence, the media has been playing a vital role. The theme for this year's celebration not only applies for the media but for the society as a whole. There should be a difference between view and viewpoint," she said. Mr Nilesh Kumar Kalbhor also spoke on the occasion.

A&N Islands bags Runners-up Conde Nast Traveler India Readers Travel Awards-2019

Port Blair, Nov 20: The Andaman & Nicobar Islands has bagged the Runners-up Conde Nast Traveller India Readers Travel Awards-2019 in the emerging destination category. At the 9th Conde Nast Traveller India Readers Travel Awards-2019, held at ITC Maurya, New Delhi yesterday (Nov.19, 2019), the Jt. Residence Commissioner, A & N Administration, Shri Kuldip Singh Thakur received the award on behalf of the Administration.
The ceremony was witnessed by several eminent personalities, who are in the field of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Health, Trade and Investment from India and Foreign countries. The Runners-up award conferred to the Andaman & Nicobar Administration will promote the Islands as the most sought after tourism destination not only in India but in foreign countries as well.
The Conde Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards are considered the 'Oscars of Travel' in Indian Travels and hospitality industry for good reason. Their readers are the most discerning travelers out there and they recognize the best of the best. This Excellence Awards reflects the fact that travel is impacted by so many different forces i.e. art, culture, the conservation of our nature and heritage.
The Annual Conde Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards has set the benchmarks in the hospitality and travel industry year on year, since its inception in 1989 in the United States of America.
The Readers' Travel Award-2019 winners will be featured in Conde Nast Traveller India's December 2019 - January 2020 issue.

ANC organises MSMC at Kamorta

Port Blair, Nov 20: As part of the Navy Week 2019 celebrations, the Navy Component under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) organised a Multi-Speciality Medical Camp (MSMC) recently at Kamorta Island. The camp was jointly conducted by INHS Dhanvantari and INS Kardip, in coordination with Community Health Centre (CHC), Nancowrie group of islands. The camp was inaugurated by Cdr Phani Kumar Nandedla, Commanding Officer, INS Kardip.
A group of five specialists including Dental Surgeon, Psychiatrist, Medical Specialist, Paediatrician and Ophthalmologist, along with the Medical Officer of INS Kardip and two medical sailors from INHS Dhanvantari, conducted a multi-speciality clinic for the local population of the island of Kamorta. The Medical Specialist and Paediatrician also reviewed the admitted patients of the CHC and offered their expert advice on treatment. The camp met with an enthusiastic response from the locals, and the CHC received over 100 patients.

IGNOU Celebrated Foundation Day

Port Blair, Nov 20: The Indira Gandhi National Open University - Regional Centre, Port Blair has celebrated the 34th Foundation Day of the University on the Birthday of Smt. Indira Gandhi, 19th November. Smt. Jolly Sarkar, Head of the Programme, Doordarshan Kendra, Port Blair was the Chief Guest and given special lecture on learning from Audio-Video media. She has appreciated the efforts of Regional Centre for organizing Saturday Video Classes very regularly. The Guest of Honor Shri Mohd. Tarique Shah, District Youth Coordinator, Nehru Yuva Kendra, Port Blair has shared his experiences on development of National Integration through NYK. Shri Ravinder Rao, Head of the Centre of Art of Living, Dollygunj, has emphasized the role of Yoga and Meditation in promoting the learning process of students. The Assistant Regional Director, Dr. TR Satyakeerthy has made a power point presentation of two years successful completion of Saturday Video Classes at Regional Centre, Port Blair. He has highlighted the participation of 355 students (in 2-years) of various academic courses through 104 Saturday Video Classes. The Centre has displayed the details of academic programmes offered in A&N Islands through banners, standees at the entrance of the Regional Centre. An exhibition of IGNOU study material, publicity material has been displayed at the reception hall of the ground floor at RC.
The Regional Director Dr. S Ganesan has highlighted the future plan of Regional Centre to have IGNOU camp office centre at VKZPV, Port Mout and Bambooflat. Such centres will function weekly once and the IGNOU staff will attend and provide admission counseling to general public/ parents/ students. He also shared the future strategies of using the services of teachers/ subject experts who are visiting Port Bair as Tourist, to enrich the Island students academically. The 'IGNOU - Ambassadors' from various schools presented their essays on the 'Role of Smt. Indira Gandhi in development of Education'. Participation Certificate was distributed to the school students as token of appreciation and association. IGNOU students, parents of school children, Head of the Institutes of various offices have also participated in the function. Smt. Sangita Mandal, Assistant has conveyed the vote of thanks for the Guests and participants, a communication from the Regional Director, IGNOU RC, Port Blair said.

Dept. of S&T to engage volunteers to raise awareness on Waste Management

Port Blair, Nov 20: The Department of Science and Technology will be engaging interested persons willing to raise awareness about waste management and ill effects of plastic by way of workshops, beach clean ups, and other activities with local people/tourists. This is in line with the Administration's efforts towards making these Islands trash and plastic free.
The selected volunteers will also be given training on the subject of waste management by SWM Consultant, Ms. Garima Poonia. The idea is to engage young minds and passionate people to create solutions for the problem of plastic and trash.
As of now, only 20 seats are available for the first batch of volunteers in South Andaman District. From these, the best and most committed volunteers will be felicitated. Depending on performance, some may also be given the opportunity to apply for empanelment as Para Legal Volunteers with the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), possibly involving a monetary incentive.
The eligibility criteria are minimum age: 18+, education: 10th pass. Interested applicants may visit the official website of Department of Science and Technology for more information. Selection shall be through walk in interviews in the office of SWM Consultant in the Secretariat Complex on Wednesdays and Thursdays, between 3 pm and 4 pm. Applicants have been requested to call on 9531870145 on the same day to fix prior appointment.

Pre-Application Conference at Kochi for Eco-tourism Projects in Lakshadweep Islands and A & N Islands

Kochi/ Port Blair, Nov 20: The UT Administration of Lakshadweep Islands organized a pre-application conference for three eco-tourism projects in Lakshadweep in Minicoy Island, Suheli Island and Kadmat Island and four eco-tourism projects in Andaman in Long Island, Smith Island, Aves Island and Saheed Dweep, today at SAJ Eco-Resort in Kochi.
The response to the pre-application conference indicated positive interest for the projects among potential investors. Some of the potential investors and stakeholders present in today's conference are Twenty Fourteen Holding (Lulu Group), CGH Earth, Mahindra Holidays, Abad Hotels and Resorts, Key Select Hotels, Paul Resorts, RASHI Eco-tourism Ltd., Sterling Holidays, Oberoi Realty, Radisson Group.
The renowned personality, Mr. Prahlad Kakkar, associated with Lakshadweep islands for more than 20 years through the institute Lacadives, India's Premier Sports Diving Organization set up by him in Lakshadweep, also attended the pre-application conference and provided his inputs for the projects.
The Mr. Shreeshail Malge, Director, MHA, Mr. Kulanand Joshi, MD, Andaman & Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation (ANIIDCO), and Mr. S. Asker Ali, MD, SPORTS, Lakshadweep presented project propositions, responded to the queries raised by stakeholders during the conference. It was clearly emphasized by respective UT Administrations that the objective is to create high end tourism destinations in an environmentally sustainable manner so that the ecology of the islands is fully protected. It was also emphasized that tourism activities in those islands will be governed by carrying capacity of the islands estimated by the government. Administrations of UTs will play proactive role as facilitators for development of these eco-tourism resorts.
Director (ANL), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India endorsed the presentations made by the Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep Administrations and termed the initiative as a step forward toward holistic development of the islands.
The pre-qualification applications are due on December 5, 2019 and December 11, 2019 for Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar island projects respectively.  After a detailed feasibility study and investor's consultations over a period of one year, Request for Qualification (RFQ) documents of these eco-tourism projects were issued for PPP procurement in the month of October 2019.

Villagers stage protest demonstration against proposed acquisition of land for Airport-II

TMI Correspondent
Port Blair, Nov 13: Hundreds of villagers from Burma Nallah and other villages staged a protest demonstration today against the proposed move by the Andaman & Nicobar Administration for acquisition of land from Pema Junction to Burma Nallah, purportedly for construction of Airport-II and other development purpose.
According to Smt. Bhanumathi, President, Barmanallah Village Welfare Committee, from these particular villages most of the milk is supplied to the entire Port Blair city and if they lose the land it will be difficult for them to establish again, and there are many people in these villages who are doing agriculture and their only source of income is depends on ancestral piece of land. "The people of Burma Nallah and its adjoining villages have toiled hard for several years to finally settle down in the area. Now how does the administration expect us to be driven out of this place and start a life afresh," she exclaimed. "There is no way that we can be cowed down and we will not accept any alternative even at the cost of our life," Bhanumathi declared.
According to reports, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, South Andaman came to the spot with the map and assured to provide adequate compensation to villagers against acquisition of land, which instead fumed the protest. Later in the evening, DySP Ajay Rai came to the protest demonstration spot, and after fixing an appointment of the villagers to meet the Secretary of the Lt Governor for 14/11/2019, the protest was called off.

550th Birth Anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Devji

As part of 550th Birth Anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Devji, the Chairperson Andaman and Nicobar State Social Welfare Board, Dr. Poonam Arora has inaugurated a photo exhibition at Khalsa Public SSS, Gurudwara Lane, Port Blair on Nov 11, 2019 organized by The Field of Outreach Bureau, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, GoI. Office bearers and members of Management Committee of Dr. Diwan Singh Gurudwara, Dr. Sarabjeet Kaur Jagpal, Principal Khalsa Public Senior Secondary School, members of media fraternity and many islanders were present on the occasion. In the photo exhibition, the life history of Shri Guru Nanak Devji, and His pravachans which are still valid even after 550 years in the modern era, are on display.

ALHW to complete Dry Dock Extension project by August 2021

TMI Correspondent
Port Blair, Nov 13: A delegation of the Andaman Nicobar Media Federation (ANMF) has visited the project site of Dry Dock Extension at Marine Dockyard on Nov 9, 2019, where senior officials of ALHW briefed them about the execution of the project.
Earlier, in the conference hall of ALHW, the Deputy Chief Engineer, Andaman Lakshadweep Harbour Works (ALHW), Smt. Mamata Jijith has explained about the Dry Dock Extension project through a power point presentation. Smt. Jijith said, the project "Extension of Dry Dock - II at Marine Dockyard including supply, installation and commissioning of Dry dock pumps and accessories in Port Blair, South Andaman" has been sanctioned by Ministry of Shipping under Central Sector Plan Scheme to the tune of Rs. 96.24 Cr with the stipulated date of completion of 42 months. The project has been awarded to M/s. RDS Project Ltd., Contractor, Port Blair by observing all the codal formalities and the preliminary work commenced at site since 07.03.2017. The scope of work will extend the existing dock by 90 more meters in length to accommodate more vessels and bigger vessels. This facility will double its capacity for ship repair facilities at Port Blair and generate employment opportunities as well as generate huge revenue to the islands. She said that presently 300 employees are working and due to this project 50 more employment will be generated.
The project envisages extension of Existing Dry Dock - II at Marine Dockyard by 90 x 20 x 8.50 mtr founding on RCC Bored piles including providing erecting & commissioning of various type of Mechanical equipments and Electrical installations. Construction of allied structures such as Dewatering pump house, Capstan house, Workshop buildings, Electrical Control room, Generator room, Crane parking shed, Vehicle parking shed, 02 nos. Overhead Tank of its 1.20 Lakhs Ltrs. capacity each at Dockyard I & II and an underground RCC sump of capacity of 1.20 Lakhs Litre. The Andaman Lakshadweep Harbour Works has set a deadline of 2021 for completion of the Dry Dock Extension at Marine Dockyard.
She further informed that, the ALHW has taken up a major project of extension of new dry dock - II at Marine Dockyard to augment existing ship repair facilities at Port Blair. Currently, the piling work of the project is in progress at dock area. In order to boost ship building & ship repairing industry and facilitate the "Make in India" initiative of the Govt. of India., the existing ship repair facilities at Port Blair are being augmented by extending the existing dock length".
In principle, the Ministry of Shipping has approved the proposed RCE for construction of the Extension of Dry Dock-II at Port Blair would be Rs.123.95 Crores which is 28.80% excess over the originally sanctioned cost and the time overrun to implement the extra work would be 24 months i.e. August 2021. After getting the in principle approval from Ministry, the work resumed at site during the month of September-2019. The works is in active progress and try to complete the full scope of the project before the extended targeted schedule of August 2021, the delegation was told.
The Executive Engineer (OS), Mr. P. Ramachandran, Assistant Engineer (Civil) Dry Dock Extn., S. Kasinathan, and Mr. P. Muthaiah, Executive Engineer, ALHW and media team were present on the on the occasion.

Pre-Application conference held at New Delhi for eco-tourism projects in A&N Islands

 New Delhi / Port Blair, Nov 13: The UT Administration of Andaman & Nicobar Islands organized a pre-application conference for four eco-tourism projects in Andaman in Long Island, Smith Island, Aves Island and Saheed Dweep and three eco-tourism projects in Lakshadweep in Minicoy Island, Suheli Island and Kadmat Island, today in New Delhi at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra. After a detailed feasibility study and investor's consultations over a period of one year, Request for Qualification (RFQ) documents of these eco-tourism projects were issued for PPP procurement in the month of October 2019.
The overwhelming response for the pre-application conference indicates huge interest for the projects among potential investors. Some of the potential investors and stakeholders present in today's conference are Oberoi Group, Taj Group of Hotels, ITC Hotels, Park Hotels, Royal Orchid, Bird Group of Hotels, Marriot, Indiabulls, J M Baxi Group, Girish Arora of Andaman Chambers of Commerce & Industries, Youth Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The Austrian Ambassador, H.E. Mrs. Brigitte Oppinger-Walchshofer was also present in the conference.
The CEO of NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant, Shri Chetan B. Sanghi, Chief Secretary of Andaman & Nicobar UT and Shri S. Asker Ali, MD, SPORTS, Lakshadweep presented project propositions and interacted with stakeholders during the conference. It was clearly emphasized by NITI Aayog and respective UT Administrations that the objective is to create high end tourism destinations in an environmentally sustainable manner so that the ecology of the islands is fully protected. It was also emphasized that tourism activities in those islands will be governed by carrying capacity of the islands estimated by the government.
The applications for the projects are due in December 2019. It is expected that renewed international and domestic investors will participate in these unique and exclusive island development projects.

Amendment of Guidelines for operation of helmet Diving / Undersea-walk

Port Blair, Nov.13: The Directorate of IP&T intends to amend the existing 'Guidelines for Operation of Helmet Diving/Undersea-walk in A & N Islands'. The existing guidelines along with proposed amendment are placed in the official website of Tourism Department for comments/ suggestions/ opinion.
The tourism stakeholders/ adventure water sports operators/sea walk-Helmet dive operators are requested to send suggestions/comments/opinion to enhance and improve the existing guidelines, particularly in term of safety and security of tourists undertaking the activity. The suggestions/ comments/ opinion shall be submitted to the Directorate of Tourism on or before 25/11/2019.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

LG inaugurates 10-day Island Tourism Festival -2019; Emphasizes the need for making tourism a major industry of A&N Islands

Port Blair, Nov 7: The Lt. Governor, A&N Islands & Vice Chairman, Islands Development Agency, Admiral DK Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.) as the chief guest formally inaugurated the 10-day annual carnival, the Island Tourism Festival at the ITF Ground here this evening. The Member of Parliament, A&N Islands, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Smt. Vinita Sharma, Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Shri Chetan B. Sanghi, Adhyaksh Zilla Parishad, South Andaman, Shri Subir Chander, Chairperson PBMC, Shri NK Udhaya Kumar, DGP, Shri Dependra Pathak, Padma Shree Awardee, Shri Naresh Chandra Lal, the ex-MP, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray, Smt. Rupa Ray, Senior Officers of the A&N Administration were present on the occasion. The inaugural ceremony had to be postponed yesterday due to inclement weather conditions.
Addressing the gathering, the Lt. Governor expressed his happiness to be part of the Islands Tourism Festival- 2019 and thanked the cultural contingents from different States and UTs for participating in the cultural extravaganza, which he said, has added value to this 10-day festival. 
The Lt Governor said, tourism is the life line of these Islands. As these Islands are rich in green cover, there is very little scope for development of other industries. Keeping in mind the great potential in the tourism sector, we have to promote tourism in such a way so that it becomes a major Industry in these Islands.
The Lt. Governor said, as per the valuable suggestion made by the Member of Parliament, ITF will be celebrated in a broader scale next year and suggestions from other stake holders will also be incorporated so that the profile of ITF can be improved further and it can be organized in National and International standard.
As far as tourism in these Islands is concerned, the A&N Islands witnessed a huge arrival of tourists in the year 2018, which crossed the 5 lakh mark. Every effort will be made by the A&N Administration to provide all required facilities to the tourists so that more tourists visit these Islands making them the most sought after tourism destination.
For the growth of tourism in these Islands, the Lt Governor said, under the aegis of Islands Development Agency (IDA), various tourism development projects are in the pipe line. Informing about some of the projects, the Lt. Governor said that last week, the A&N Administration received approval for 4 major tourism projects for these Islands. The Request For Qualification (RFQ) i.e commercial bid has been issued and an investors’ meet for the same will be held on Nov.13, 2019 at Prasar Bharati Bhawan, New Delhi, which will be attended by the Chief Secretary, A&N Administration. A similar meet will also be held at Cochin on Nov. 20, in which all the potential investors have been invited.
The Lt. Governor further informed that as per the schemes/tourism projects, minimum 60 percent employment has been reserved for the local youths of these Islands. Maintaining the environmental concerns and sustainability norms, these projects will be executed in conformity with the International parameters of ‘global green’, ‘grameen’ and ‘greha’. The A&N Administration is expected to receive commercial bid in next month for projects at Smith & Ross, Aves, Long Island and Shaheed Dweep and early next year, these projects will be brought to contract stage as these projects will be executed on eco-norms, and will be completed and made functional within one year’s time, the Lt Governor said. In the coming one or two years, the Islanders can witness a paradigm shift in the profile of tourism sector here.
Apart from these 4 projects which are going to unfold, the RFQ for selection of Consultant for the next 12 projects, which will cover Diglipur to Little Andaman Island has been issued. These projects will ensure the spread of tourism project from North to South. Keeping in mind Responsible Tourism Development, the A&N Administration is making every effort to extend tourist attractions in different Islands, which is currently confined to only two or three Islands, he said. 
In the coming two years, the connectivity issue will be solved, the basic infrastructure required for the tourism promotion such as air connectivity, under which the Administration has removed the Restricted Area Permit, and immigration facility has been started, by which foreign tourists are being provided Visa on arrival and e-visa to those countries with which we have reciprocal arrangements. With all these initiative in place, the Islanders will witness a better tourism profile in the coming two years’ time, the Lt. Governor added.
The Lt Governor also released a book, written by Dr. Mohd. Rehan Raza- ‘The Great Nicobar Island: India’s Southern Fortune’, which highlights the geo-strategic and geo-economic significance of Great Nicobar Island and is a rare and exclusive compilation of all the unexplored potential tourism destinations in that area.
Speaking on the occasion, the Member of Parliament, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma remarked that the ‘Island Tourism Festival’, earlier known as ‘Islands on the March’ held at Marina Park on a small scale, where cultural programmes were presented by the local artistes, has garnered more importance with the passage of time and now has its reach across the globe. He said, the Island Tourism Festival has become the most awaited festivals by the Islanders as it offers a platform for them to join in the revelries ranging from colorful cultural programmes to exciting shows and activities. The MP suggested that a tag line/theme be created for the Island Tourism Festival each year, to showcase the rich tribes, forest, culture, tradition and heritage of the A&N Islands to the world. Apart from this, stalls highlighting the wealth of the Islands should also be included, he opined.
The MP also mentioned that the Island Tourism Festival is being watched live in over 200 countries across the world and we must make them a part of this festival by highlighting the strength of the A&N Islands, which reflects the essence of a true Mini India and communal harmony. He also suggested that rain tourism be promoted during rainy season, so as to facilitate tourism activities in the Islands throughout the year besides providing incentives to tour operators and discount for tourists so that more tourists are attracted to these Islands even in monsoon.
The MP also urged the Tourism Department to take the spirit of festivities to every nook and corners of the Islands for the benefit of the Islanders residing in far off places, so that they can get the opportunity to witness the cultural programmes by various artistes and cultural troops from mainland.       
Earlier, welcoming the gathering, the Secretary Tourism, A&N Administration, Dr. Pooja Joshi said, to make the Island Tourism Festival-2019 a more appealing and different event from the last one, a lot of thoughts and suggestions have been incorporated. She also invited everyone to come and be a part of the ten day-long celebration and make it a memorable event.
Meanwhile, the road leading to the ITF has been decked with colorful lights and the air of festivity can be seen and felt at the ITF Ground. The second day of the festival saw crowds of all ages enjoying the cultural programmes with exuberance. The traditional couture of Octave artistes of the North Eastern States, which showcased the beauty of their tradition and culture received a standing ovation from the dignitaries and the crowd while a creative presentation by Sapphire Creations, West Bengal also mesmerized the gathering. Other cultural programme included live musical orchestra presented by Avinash Social & Cultural Society followed by musical programme by BRW Musical Wing, performances by Jhumurr (Sastriya-Lok) Nitryagan, programme by Sur Sangam Cultural Forum and a dance on Bollywood songs by Kasheesh. Apart from this, stalls selling varieties of food items ranging from home made snacks to fast food and regional cuisines are a hit among the visitors. Stalls selling handicrafts items and home wares have also been set up at the ITF ground for people to check out various items.

Adulterated Biryani served in Hotel ; High time to check Food Safety Standards by concerned authority

TMI Bureau
Port Blair, Nov 06: Even the roadside food stalls these days adheres the standard of food safety hygienically at different parts in city in much lower price than AC, fan and tabled hotels.
But, surprisingly in a popular hotel at very junction of most populated Bhatu Basthi is serving stones adulterated Biryani.
According to two youth, 'yesterday in the afternoon they have visited famous hotel at Bhatu Basthi junction and ordered two plates Vegetable Biryani and butter paneer, which was served on the table in few minutes and they started having their lunch, and within few minutes one found a marble sized black stone in his plate, meanwhile another one accidentally found crushed under his teeth while having vegetable biryani in the hotel. "It was informed to the hotel management, but all are pretended as deaf ears in the hotel, and we are simply paid the bills and moved out", alleged the youths.
However, for making biryani from rice to the ingredients require, is all in sterilized and packed, then how such stones are entering into the biryani plates is the matter of business secret or a play with the citizens' health, may be.
On the other hand, the Island Tourism Festival is underway and the Port Blair city will witness huge crowd from different parts of A&N Islands to make rush in Port Blair to enjoy the ITF as well as will try to taste the varieties in city hotels. Hence, this is high time for concerned authorities to keep a tab on hoteliers to check the food safety standards for public interest.

STS to implement MoRTH directives; Decides to fit GPS Based Vehicle Tracking System & Panic Button in STS Buses, commercial vehicles

 Port Blair, Nov 7: The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has mandated fitment of GPS based vehicles tracking system in all commercial vehicles. The Transport Department has already started action for empanelment of eligible firm capable of fitting GPS & providing after sales service in the UT. It has been decided to implement the directives in two phases to provide a transition period to the commercial vehicle owners.
In first phase, all the public transport buses operated by Transport Department shall be covered and tender has been floated by the Department. In the second phase all other commercial vehicles shall be required to comply with the directives of MoRTH as referred above.

Commemoration of Gandhiji’s 150th birth anniversary; Pad Yatra held to create awareness on eradication of TB & Leprosy

Port Blair, Nov 7: As part of the commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Deputy Education Office, South Andaman in collaboration with Department of Health Services, NYK, RD and NSS organized a Pad Yatra from Cellular Jail to Gandhi Statue via Clock Tower today, to create awareness on eradication of TB and Leprosy.
The Deputy Director Education (Academic/HoO), Shri Sushen Mallick flagged off the Pad Yatra. Addressing the students, he spoke on the life of Mahatma Gandhi and eradication of TB and Leprosy.
About 200 students and teachers of nearby schools participated in the programme along with 50 volunteers of NYK and NSS JNRM. During the Pad Yatra, students shouted slogans and carried placard on eradication of TB and Leprosy provided by the Health Department.

IGNOU Entrance Test for Post Basic B.Sc Nursing Programme

 Port Blair, Nov 07: The Indira Gandhi National Open University offers three years Post Basic B.Sc Nursing Programme.  The Entrance Test for January -2020 admission session will be held on Saturday 9th November 2019 at IGNOU, Regional Centre, Port Blair. The exam will be conducted between 10 am to 12.30 pm. The results will be declared on 15th November 2019. All the candidates/examinees are advised to bring their Hall Ticket and visit the Regional Centre, Port Blair well in advance during its working hours, a communication from Regional Director, IGNOU, Regional Centre, Port Blair said.

15 Kgs of Ganja seized under NDPS Act at Mayabunder

Mayabunder, Oct 30: In probably one of the biggest catches of recent times, the North & Middle Andaman district police seized around 15 kg of ganja on 25th October.
There were inputs that some of the shipments being carried in the containers of passenger ships are carrying the contraband substance. Based on that a police team was deployed on jetty since the last passenger ship Swaraj Dweep arrived at Mayabunder and each and every package was being checked as and when the containers opened. This led to a huge success on Friday when, the police team headed by Shri Hukma Ram (SDPO Diglipur) and consisting of SI Somen Halder, SI Anbeshwaran and other police station staff came across a person who was trying to avoid the checking of packages and his name is Mr. Ashok  Biswas (54) yrs. Resident of Subashgram, Diglipur. When he was made to open the packages, it was found that there was around 15 kg of ganja in that. Legal proceedings have been started in matter and further investigation has been taken up.
SP North & Middle Andaman Shri Vichitra Veer, IPS said that any information that such a huge recovery just before Diwali would demoralise the anti-social elements. He further said that any information received from the public with regards to transportation of ganja is duly verified and such information leading to recovery is a good sign. It would lead to better trust between police and public, a press release said.

Andaman team to participate in 38th Senior & 22nd Open Sprints National Rowing Championship 2019

Port Blair Oct 30: The Andaman and Nicobar Rowing Association will be participating in the 38th Senior & 22nd Open Sprints National Rowing Championship2019 scheduled to be held at Hyderabad in Telengana from 2nd to 7thDec. 2019 organized and hosted by the Rowing Association of Telengana on behalf of the Rowing Federation of India. In the Championship there will be events for Senior Men and Senior Women.
Rowers of Andaman and Nicobar Islands who are willing to participate in this Championship at Telengana may contact Mr.D.Rama Rao, Joint Secretary (Mob: 9434298433) and Mr. Joy Pinto, Vice President(9932088222) of the Andaman and Nicobar Rowing Association by 7th November, 2019 before 4 PM. Selection trail of the rowers for the participation in the above championship will be held on 8th and 9th November, 2019 from 7 AM onwards at SAI Water Sports Centre, Sippighat.


Port Blair, Oct 31: An impressive ceremonial parade was organized by the Andaman & Nicobar Police on the occasion of Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National unity Day) in order to Commemorate the Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Seven contingents of A & N Police comprising of 01 Platoon of each of Executive Police, male & female, IRBn, Fire Service, Home Guard and Police Bands led by parade commander Shri. Naveen Kumar, Assistant Commandant, IRBn, March impressively in sync with marching contingent of CRPF, NDRF, and captivated the spectators. Shri. Dependra Pathak, IPS, Director General of Police, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, took salute on the occasion.
General public also witnessed the event and were particularly appreciative of A & N Police Brass Band and Ladies Pipe Band which thrilled the audience with patriotic fervour, as they cheered loudly against the backdrop of a delightful evening.
31st October is observed all over the country as a day of special occasion to foster and reinforce our dedication to preserve the strengthen the unity, integrity and security of our nation, by celebrating it as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day).

Birth anniv. of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel ; Chief Secretary flags off ‘Run for Unity’

Port Blair, Oct. 31: A large number of people, including students, youth and general public enthusiastically participated in the ‘Run for Unity’, organized by the A&N Administration this morning, to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, which was also observed as ‘National Unity Day’. The Chief Secretary (I/C), A&N Administration, Shri Vikram Dev Dutt flagged off the ‘Run for Unity’ from the historic Netaji Stadium. He also administered the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Pledge’ to the gathering on the occasion. The Member of Parliament, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, the Chairperson, PBMC, Shri NK Udhaya Kumar and Senior Officers of the A&N Administration were also present on the occasion.
Over 600 participants, including school students, CISF Jawans, Youth and volunteers from NSS and NYK, International Medalists, Ms Regina Kiro and Sandhya Kispota participated in the ‘Run for Unity’. ‘National Unity Day’ is observed on October 31st since 2014. People from all walks of life also participated in the ‘Run for Unity’ organized to mark the occasion.
The ‘Run for Unity’ began from Netaji Stadium and passed through the Clock Tower, Model Senior Secondary School, Bengali Club, PBMC Office, Gandhi Statue, Aberdeen Bazaar, Clock Tower and culminated at the starting point at Netaji Stadium, where the Assistant Director Sports, Shri V. Ranjith Kumar welcomed the runners.