Port Blair, Jan 21: The Member of Parliament, A&N Islands, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma today led a delegation of Water Sports, Tourist Fiber Boat. Boat Owners Association, North Bay, Dive Club, Havelock Scuba Diving Association, Tourist Vehicle Owners' Association, Port Blair to discuss various tourism related issues with the Secretary Tourism, A&N Administration.

The Member of Parliament expressed concern of the Tourism and allied industries in these Islands and particularly in the prevailing COVID -19 Pandemic scenario. He said that in the private sector tourism and allied industries are undoubtedly the major source of providing employment for the Islanders. 

He said that livelihood of as many as 50,000 families in these Islands are dependent on the tourism related industries, which for past two years has suffered major financial setback due various restrictions imposed under the National Disaster Management Act by the Central Government and the local administration to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in these Islands.

He urged that there is paramount need to bring normalcy in the tourism and allied industries though carefully and steadily so that several socioeconomic problems, now being faced by Islanders served by these industries, get subsided to a large extent.

The representatives of various tourism related associations expressed their needs before the Secretary (Tourism), Andaman & Nicobar Administration of which major were repairs of floating jetty at Aberdeen Water Sports Complex and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (Ross) Island, Parking Stand for Tourist Vehicle at Port Blair, Development of Viper Island as one day tourist destination, opening of extension centre of National Institute of Water Sports (NIWS), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India at Port Blair to facilitate easy and timely inspection, certification and licencing of the Water Sports facilities and equipments, Jolly Buoy to be opened for tourism, implementing easy procedure for replacement of trained and certified personals, securing beaches from Crocodile attack, maintenance of civic amenities such as toilets, changing rooms among others.

The Secretary (Tourism) assured the Member of Parliament and the representatives of various tourism related associations to look into the matter for consideration.