19November2018

Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

Lady Entrepreneur Slams Island Administration Claiming Damages of Rs. 243.180 Crore

Port Blair, July 30: An entrepreneur lady from A&N Islands has slammed a legal notice on the Andaman & Nicobar Administration for betraying her of her rights to run a business and lead a normal life. The legal notice served last month claims damages to the tune or Rs. 243.180 Crores.  

Ms. Jessy John D’cruz is the lady who had set up a resort named ‘Dew Dale’ at the remote Baratang Island in Middle Andaman following a scheme “50 % Capital Subsidy to tourism related activities in Rural areas”. The scheme was published in local news papers and notified in the official gazette of A&N Administration dated 29th March 2005.  

Prior to commencement of the project, Jessy claims that she had informed the Director of Tourism, Andaman & Nicobar Administration of her intention of starting a tourism resort by name and style “Dew Dale” by constructing 36 rooms. She also submitted a project plan duly approved by the Pradhan, Sundergarh Gram Panchayat, Baratang Island along with a letter, requesting for recommendation in favour of conversion of the land for commercial use and for 50% capital Subsidy in terms of the Scheme notified. 

The Director of Tourism had then deputed a team of official for inspection of the site and the project was approved with conditions that the Hotel must conform to three star facilities and recommended the case as prayed for in the preceding paragraph.

Jessy while talking to Andaman Chronicle said, “After completion of first phase of construction, I approached for grant of capital subsidy at the Directorate of Industries. But to my surprise I found that the authorities of the Directorate of Industry did not process my pre-registration application and refused to accept the claim for grant of subsidy on the ground that the scheme was valid only upto 31.03.2007”.

It is not only this, after getting approval at every stage of the project, the lady entrepreneur finally commenced the commercial activities in her resort but to conform to 3 star facilities, she needed to have a Bar. She finally applied for a Bar Licence but to her utter surprise the application was rejected on the ground that the Resort falls within the buffer zone notified on 30.10.2007.

Jessy further expressed that prior to the rejection of grant of Bar Licence; she had approached the Chief Secretary A & N Administration. On the directions of the Chief Secretary, the Assistant commissioner (Settlement) carried out the survey and submitted a report stating that the Resort is located outside the buffer zone beyond five kilometers from all directions.

That the Buffer Zone notification dated 30.10.2007 was not implemented till 03.12.2010. No survey was conducted or any map was prepared with regard to the buffer zone.  Despite the report of the Assistant Commissioner (Settlement), a closure notice was served to Jessy and the Resort was finally sealed by deploying Police force.

It is not only this, Jessy said, I was not given even the opportunity to remove perishable items and was prevented from entering into my own property. I was forced to leave the property uncared-for for a considerable time till date causing deterioration, the betrayed lady entrepreneur adds.

Under Andaman & Nicobar (protection of Aboriginal Tribe) Regulation 2012, the President of India has delegated the Powers upon the Lt. Governor to declare any area as Buffer Zone only upto the extent which is adjacent and contiguous to any reserved area.

Jessy claims that her Resort is located in Baratang Island, which is a separate Island and not adjacent and contiguous to any reserved area. It was illegally sealed by the Andaman & Nicobar Administration on 09.02.2011 and till date she is deprived of her property, without any authority of law.