Port Blair, May 24: During a recent meeting with the Chief Secretary, Andaman & Nicobar Administration, the Member of Parliament, Shri. Kuldeep Rai Sharma highlighted some of the crucial issues being faced by members of Water Sports Fibre Boat Owners’ Association in Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

He said that the Water Sports Fibre Boat Owners’ Association has some demands to enhance the promotion of tourism, improve the daily activities at the water sports complex and ensure the welfare of tourist boat operators.

The Member of Parliament raised some crucial demands, which the Member of Parliament said that will not only benefit the tourism industry but also be advantageous for the tourist boat operators and convenient for the tourists.

The Demands raised by the Member of Parliament included:

Installation of a Ticketing Counter: He requested that a ticketing counter be provided at the water sports complex for the Water Sports Fibre Boat Owners’ Association. This will enhance the convenience of tourists and ensure the protection of the ticketing agent during inclement weather conditions such as rain and scorching heat.

Implementation of a Roster System: All the fibre boats should be operated according to a roster system, ensuring fair opportunities for every boat operator. This will promote efficiency and a sense of equality among the operators.

Provision of Drinking Water at North Bay and NSCB Islands: Currently, there is a lack of water arrangements for drinking purposes for visiting tourists at North Bay and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Islands, which hinders the progress of Andaman tourism. He requested to provide proper drinking water facilities for the visiting tourists at the water sports complex.

Shelter and Clean Toilet Facilities: There is a scarcity of shelters for tourists during heavy rain or scorching heat, as well as a lack of clean toilet facilities for female visitors in NSCB Island (Ross). He requested to address these issues by providing adequate shelter and clean toilet facilities for the visiting tourists.

Public Safety Fund (PSF) Charges: It has been observed that a Public Safety Fund charge of Rs. 20 is levied on every passenger visiting North Bay and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Islands from Aberdeen Water Sports Complex, while no such charge is applied to tourists taking boats from Havelock or Baratang ports. He requested to remove this charge from the water sports complex, aligning it with the practices followed in the Baratang and Havelock Island areas.

Promoting Viper Island as a Tourist Destination: The Viper Island holds immense potential as a major tourist destination. He urged to initiate efforts such as starting a Light & Sound Show, Other Tourists Activities and also developing a marine drive connecting Viper Island and the Hati Tapu area.

Traffic Management at Aberdeen Jetty Parking Area: In front of Aberdeen Water Sports Complex, there is a parking area that requires dedicated police personnel to manage traffic efficiently. It becomes increasingly challenging to control the traffic in that area during rush hours. Therefore, he suggested deploying police officers to facilitate smooth traffic flow and ensure the safety of both tourists and locals.

He said that by addressing these demands and fulfilling them, it will greatly contribute to the promotion of tourism and provide numerous benefits to all stakeholders involved.