UNNATI welcome the action initiated by the newly posted Secretary Municipal Council as appeared in the Daily Telegram dt. 21.02.2010 for removal of unauthorized occupations on the footpath/Set-back areas which UNNATI have been perusing since 2000 on the demand of the residents of Port Blair, Municipal area (copies of letter dt. 21.01.2000 and 17.03.09 enclosed). The action initiated by the present Secretary Municipal Council for clearance of obstacles in footpath and set-back area is a welcome step. In this connection we would like to mention that it is generally observed that footpaths, set-back area of road and vacant revenue land where they do exist are unusable on account of unauthorized workshop and polluting activities, business, encroachment, obstructions, parked vehicles resulting children, elderly and disabled and the urban poor who often have no choice but to walk or cycle are particularly disadvantaged and facing serious risk of being hurt or killed in accidents in the absence of safe pedestrian accessibility which in fact need to be the first step in an enlighted urban transport policy. Increasing number of health conscious morning walkers to maintain health are also now finding difficulty in walking in foreshore road, Haddo due to increased workshop activities and traffic which has already caused 3 deaths and several injuries due to accidents within last 3 years. Recently the dividing the existing road for 2 lines for smooth vehicle movement no doubt is also a welcome step but then it would reduce space for pedestrians and cycling and thus making their movement unsafe and risky walking is the most natural of human activities has become extremely unpleasant, if not hazardous activity in the absence footpath and usage of set back and Govt. revenue vacant land adjacent to road under unauthorized occupation. Now everywhere in mainland priority is given for pedestrian accessibility and park is so designed and developed that there is facilities for walking in parks also but we have no such parks except marina park but have space for construction of footpath particularly in coastal road of foreshore Haddo where tourist also visit. Therefore, similar park and footpath may kindly be developed in foreshore Haddo for the residents of Haddo & tourist. 
In fact our transport policy is focused predominantly on road capacity but little or no priority for pedestrian and cyclist while counties like Netherlands which have higher income and car ownership levels provide 1st class pedestrian and bicycle facilities. We, therefore, request that Administration may kindly consider to give priority for pedestrian accessibility and prepare a plan for construction of footpath along road side in Port Blair, Municipal area for the convenience of the pedestrians for which funds are also available under centrally sponsored schemes.
We shall be highly grateful if our proposal is considered favorably.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a tourist destination?

Logically thinking some of the points are as follows -
1) Why would somebody come to Andaman for a vacation when the air fare is exorbitantly high?
As on 30th Jan 2010 , the airfare from Chennai to Port Blair was approximately Rs.20,755/- economy class Kingfisher red , while return fare on 1st Feb 2010 was Rs.17,233/-.
When one can go for an international vacation at a much cheaper cost why spend that kind of money only on travel within India! 
For example currently Ezeego is giving amazing offers on Dubai shopping festival. Ex Mumbai return economy class air fare , accommodation for 3 nights with breakfast and guided city tour and all this is for a price of Rs.16,299/-.
Another interesting offer in Jan 2010 from TTF is a 4 day /3 nights Thailand – Bangkok & Pattaya for only Rs.19990/-. This includes Return airfare from Bangalore, airport taxes, airport transfers, 3 star hotel accommodation, all 3 meals and sightseeing. 
Frankly speaking, any Indian would prefer to get a stamp on his passport by going overseas at that cost with his family than spend more on an Indian vacation!
2) Secondly why does A&N not actively participate in the annual Trade and Travel Fair if it’s serious about promoting tourism?
The TTF was held on 15th, 16th & 17th Jan 2010 in Bangalore. There were stalls from various states in India as well as overseas .The participants were from J&K, Rajasthan, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Ladakh, Nepal, Turkey, Hong Kong, South America etc. Unfortunately A&N did not feature anywhere. Aitken Spencer Hotels (a private concern) had a stall promoting its hotels / resorts in South India. One of the standees in that stall had publicity for Barefoot at Havelock. That was about all I saw on Andaman in the entire Fair!
I personally think it’s high time the Government of A&N should put on their thinking caps and take some drastic steps before it’s too late.
3) They should focus on not only how to attract tourism but also how to ensure that people keep coming back for more each season.  
For example people in Delhi keep going to Shimla every summer for their vacation and people in South go to Ooty. Goa is still an all time favorite. Similarly A&N should encourage people to return frequently and not just make it a “onetime” holiday destination.
Let’s strive in making Andaman & Nicobar Islands a well know and sort after holiday destination year after year!

What nonsense is this! The entire area opposite to Carbyn’s Cove beach (quarry belt) has destroyed the flora and fauna. The dump yard of municipal department is always burning and emitting methane and other toxic gas, which is very harmful. The matter regarding crushers /quarry has destroyed the entire flora and fauna of around 4 sqkms. from Carbyn’s Cove area to Brookshabad
There are nine crushing plants in a cluster at Prothrapore, to which the ‘Pollution Control Board’ headed by PCCF has given an NOC. This shows the corruption involved by the so called protectors of these islands. 
The people have lost faith in them. These are all gimmicks. A public institution in Protharpore which falls within 500mtrs from these crushers is dist Jail. It has made things so difficult for the residents to survive and the land available for agriculture has become such that no crop can be grown on it.
These people sit in offices and have meetings but the out come of this meeting is big zero. These people in fact take an aerial survey to asses the damage caused because of their stupid action.
The same Lt. Governor had come and promised the villagers that every thing shall be removed /shifted from this place almost 3 years ago but nothing has been done so far.


This has a ref to the article published in your daily on Sri Lankan settlers in Katchal Island. Please let me know what is the outcome, and the administration’s stand towards this issue.

These people are not to be neglected the matter has to be kept on track. No politicians have taken interest and I am sure during elections lots of promises would have been made. They should be relocated like the other settler community.

This need to be done on priority basis.

Shibu Varghese

Dear Sir

Reference your article: Celebrity Resort Threatens Isolated Tribe, I think you may wish to take the following into account

I have stayed at the resort in question, and can say with conviction that the article is based on some obious falsehoods. The resort is more than 3 kilometers away from the tribal reserve (and not 500m as Survival sensationally suggests) and there is no interaction at all between resort guests and the Jarawa, and in fact the resort stresses repeatedly that any guest who attempts to contact the Jarawa will be evicted and reported to the police.

The location is stunningly beautiful, with an amazing beach and gorgeous sunsets across the water, with good snorkeling opportunities
There is no question of any Jarawa hunting path in the vicinity.

I have brought this article to the notice of Barefoot who have advised that they shall be posting a response to this article (to Survival Internation) on their website as well

Paul Markham