Tourists can soon take sortie over Andaman & Nicobar

Last Updated: Monday, November 30, 2009 - 21:46

Port Blair: Tourists flocking to the Andaman
and Nicobar islands can soon avail of a new facility by which
they can take a sortie by an aircraft to witness the exotic
locations and pristine natural beauty, with the Union
territory all set to launch a "Sea Plane".

The first "Sea Plane" will soon be purchased and deployed
on an experimental basis in two months time, Andaman and
Nicobar Islands Government Chief Secretary Vivek Rae told
newsmen while unveiling tourist development plans for the
picturesque islands.

Two firms based in Dubai and Mumbai have been shortlisted
for the supply of the plane, which would be hired on "wet
lease" for six months, Rae said.

"The charges would be fixed depending upon the duration
of the sortie. If the venture becomes successful, we will
continue it and even expand it. Otherwise, it would have to be
discontinued", Rae said, pointing to the involvement of
subsidy outflow from government during initial stages of
operation.

Seeking to market Andaman as an attractive tourist
destination, the government has given thrust to promotion
of Scuba Diving, for which it has abundant potential, he said
adding "scuba diving is one of our USP in the new tourism
policy to be announced on January four, 2010".

"During this December we are launching Rs 100 crore
projects aimed at tourism promotion", he said.

"Andaman is a better diving destination. We will develop
it as one of the high end tourist activity. We have lot of
areas like Cinque Island, Fish Rock, Bala Reef, and Corruption
Rock near South Andaman for scuba diving".

India`s first marina to be developed in Andaman & Nicobar

India`s first ever marina will
be set up and 36 beach sites will be developed in the Andaman
and Nicobar island to promote eco-friendly tourism in the
Union Territory, its administration said today.

"Government will develop 36 beach sites in the island
to promote eco-friendly tourism in the area," Andaman and
Nicobar administration quoted lieutenant governor of the UT
Bhopinder Singh as saying in an official release.

Singh said the action has already been initiated to
develop Hut Bay, Neil Island and Laljibay under public-private
partnership (PPP) mode.

"It (the project) has been put up under fast track,"
he added.

The Lt Governor said that the UT administration has
launched several "ambitious" tourism schemes to boost tourism
infrastructure in the island.

"Plan is afoot to start more sound and light shows and
setting up decompression chambers for scuba drivers in the
island in the near future. The administration will also set up
canopy walk ways, luxury cottage, luxury boats to attract high
end tourist," he added.

He said ITDC has submitted a detailed project report
to connect Port Blair-Neil-Havelock-Baratang Island, adding,
"Work on this "prestigious" project will be started next
year."

"Annual tourist arrival has increased to 1.30 lakh by
September 2009 as compared to 33,716 tourist arrival recorded
in 1990," he said.

-PTI



First Published: Monday, November 30, 2009 - 21:46

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