Port Blair, Jan. 10: Following certain reports in the media and from some section of public that entry to events in the ITF -2013 particularly to the Netaji Stadium are restricted through entry pass, the Director of Tourism, Shri Amit Satija has cleared that the department has already announced that entry to all venues of ITF-2013 are free and open for all public and tourists.  No invitation card or entry pass are required at Netaji Stadium or for that matter in any other venues of ITF to watch any of the programmes.

To facilitate public too comfortably sit and watch the programme, more than 1000 chairs are available which could be occupied by any one on first come first served basis at Netaji Stadium.  Further the direction of the stage at Netaji Stadium has been changed to facilitate viewing of events from various places including side galleries and main stadium. The entire stadium can accommodate thousands of people, therefore, general public is requested not to get misguided by any such report. 



Port Blair, Jan 9: Months after the Supreme Court ordered a buffer zone around the Jarawa's Reserve, hundreds of tourists continue to travel along the Andaman Trunk Road every day.

Survival International has urged India’s Supreme Court to take immediate action against ‘human safaris’, exactly a year after the world was shocked by an international exposé of semi-naked Jarawa women being forced to dance in exchange for food.

Despite the scandal attracting widespread condemnation, authorities on the Andaman Islands have continued to ignore a subsequent court order that imposed a five-kilometer buffer zone around the tribe’s Reserve.

Survival has accused the Andamans of committing a ‘serious and continuing contempt of court’ through these ‘flagrant breaches’, and has appealed for the Supreme Court to take action.

Its letter to the Court includes photographic evidence of tourists traveling through the Reserve, ostensibly to visit the island’s limestone caves and mud volcano, which were ordered to close under the buffer zone ruling last July.

Survival’s urgent appeal comes just weeks ahead of a Supreme Court hearing on the buffer zone, which was introduced to stop tourists exploiting the tribe.

Survival first exposed ‘human safaris’ in 2010, but the issue grabbed worldwide headlines exactly a year ago, after a British newspaper released a video of Jarawa women being forced to dance for the amusement of outsiders.

The article prompted an outcry in India and the rest of the world.

If implemented properly, the buffer zone would significantly reduce the number of tourists going into the Jarawa’s forest, providing no legitimate reason for tour operators to take day-trippers through the Reserve. However, six months since the ruling, the caves and volcano remain open, in defiance of the Supreme Court’s explicit order.

This is not the first time the Andaman authorities have ignored the Supreme Court. The Andaman Trunk Road, which cuts through the Jarawa’s Reserve, was ordered to close in 2002, but still remains open.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘January is peak season for tourism in the Andaman Islands. As a result of the government’s refusal to close the caves and volcano, hundreds of tourists are still traveling through the Reserve every day to ogle at the Jarawa. The Supreme Court must stand up to an administration that repeatedly ignores its jurisdiction. By not doing so, the blatant exploitation of one of the world’s most vulnerable tribes is being allowed to continue.’

Port Blair, Jan. 8: The Annual Conference of the Non- Gazetted Govt. Officers’ Association, Andaman and Nicobr Islands will be held on 9th and 10th February, 2013 at Port Blair.  For the successful conduct of the Annual Conference, a Reception Committee with Shri M. Kishore has been formed at a meeting held at Crusade House, Phoenix Bay on 5th January, 2013.  

Addressing the meeting, D. Ayyappan, General Secretary said that the two-day Annual Conference of the Association will review the working of the Association and will discuss various demands/ problems of government employees. The Conference will also adopt the programme and policy for the next one year.  Referring to the various movements conducted by the Association in the islands he said that it is only the Non-Gazetted Govt. Officers’ Association which has been conducting movements on various demands of the government employees.  Trade Union leaders from mainland will address the two-day Conference. 

A large number of employees representing various Branch Committees and Sub-Committees of the Association at Port Blair attended the meeting which was presided over by Shri Sadanand Rai, Vice President of the Association. 

Gala event to showcase rich culture diversity and development of the Islands


Port Blair, Jan. 6: The ten-day long Island Tourism Festival (ITF)-2013, got off to a colourful start at the exhibition ground, VIP road here this evening. The Lt Governor, Lt General (Retd) Bhopinder Singh, PVSM, AVSM inaugurated the tourism fiesta by lighting the ceremonial  oil lamp in presence of the First Lady of these Islands, Smt Bhawanee Singh. The Lt Governor declared the festival open and extended his New Year greeting to the gathering present on the occasion. The Member of Parliament, Shri B.P. Ray and a host of other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

Organized under the aegis of Tourism Department of the A&N Administration, the festival aims at showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the Islands besides displaying the development initiatives of the UT Administration in various fields.

The highlight of the opening ceremony was the enthralling performances by local as well as artists from mainland dressed in colourful costumes. Besides mesmerizing performances by artists of South Zone Cultural Centre (SZCC), Chennai and Eastern Zone Cultural Centre (ESCC), Odhisa, the performance by artists of Andaman and Nicobar Islands showcasing the unique blend of our cultural traditions and spirit of ‘unity in diversity’ left the audience spellbound.

Earlier, welcoming the chief guest and other distinguished gathering, the Secretary (IP&T), Shri Satish Mathur stated that the major attractions of the 10-day annual mega event will be performance of flute maestro Padmavibhushan Pandit Hariprasad Chouresia, comedy show by Bharti & VIP, Kawali by Sabri Brothers, musical nite and Bollywood nite. Besides Carnic festival is also being organized in Car Nicobar. Cultural programmes will be held in 18 venues in 10 different Islands. 36 stalls have been put up by various Govt. departments and 61 private stalls comprising food stalls and general stalls.

The inaugural function concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by the Director (IP&T), Shri Amit Satija. He informed that today’s inaugural function was telecast live in over 30 countries all over the World by DD Bharti. 

Among others, the function was also attended by the Chief Secretary, Shri Anand Prakash, Chairperson PBMC, Chairperson, SWAB, Municipal Councillors, PRI members and senior officers from the civil Administration and Defence establishment.

Students from Various Schools Sensitized about Island Ecology and Environmental Awareness







Port Blair, Jan. 4: The Andaman and Nicobar Environmental Team (ANET) at North Wandoor, organised a Middle School Island Ecology and Environmental Awareness programme at the base in North Wandoor. Fifteen middle school students, from six schools in Port Blair participated in this day long programme.

The programme started with a nature treasure hunt where the students discovered ten sites on the ANET property. The activity involved map reading to orient them with their surroundings and learn about the elements of nature such as termite mounds, plants, animals. The students were divided into teams and they competed with great enthusiasm. The game triggered communication and interaction among the students and facilitators.

The treasure hunt was followed by an interactive session on the island’s ecology, biodiversity and its importance. Students were also introduced to several concepts of co-existence, interdependency – within and between ecosystems, recovery from natural disasters, endemism on the islands, conservation, its need and importance. The presentation ended with a slide show of the wildlife of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.

The post lunch session started with a walk and a wade in the mangroves fringing the bay of the Lohabarack Crocodile Sanctuary. Students were introduced to this dynamic habitat through an individual exercise of observation, documentation and reflection on any organism that interested them.

This raised several questions among the students thereby enabling better understanding. Exploring the mangroves then introduced them to the system and its various inhabitants and their adaptations, behaviour and symbiotic relationships. The walk led the group through old growth mangrove forests as well as regenerating areas, illustrating zonation, habitat succession, structure and key functions.

In spite of the excitement and drama caused by the sticky mud in the mangroves, some of the plants and animals observed were; mudskippers, hermit crabs, fiddler crabs, oysters, clams, Rhizophora, Pandanus, Nypa palms etc were identified. The walk continued onto the North Wandoor beach introducing them to the life of the intertidal zone on sandy beaches.

The day ended with a beach cleanup – an activity to develop a sense of belongingness amongst children and to inculcate the practice of no littering. They learned about the threats that sandy beaches and coastal habitats face due to human interference and how it can be minimized while still enjoying the coastline.


Port Blair, Jan. 6: In a swift joint operation Indian Coast Guard ship ICGS Durgabai Deshmukh, Dornier aircraft and Chetak helicopter nabbed 96 Myanmarese nationals including 15 Women and 18 children off Interview Island on 5th Jan 2013.

During routine surveillance, the Coast Guard Dornier, under the captainancy of Comdt(JG) AK Singhal reported sighting of wooden boat with large number of personnel near Paget Island at 0900 hrs on 5th Jan. The boat was proceeding towards Austin creek to take safe passage. Immediately, the Coast Guard Regional Headquarters pressed into action and a joint operation involving the Police Marine Force, Coast Guard Ships, CG Dornier and CG Chetak was launched.

Whilst, the Coast Guard Dornier maintained in area and continuously provided position update, the Coast Guard Ship Durgabai Deshmukh patrolling in the Andaman Sea was diverted and Coast Guard Chetak was launched for conducting sea-air coordinated operation.

PMF boats were also deployed from Mayabunder and Kishorinagar for undertaking close coast search. Chetak Helicopter under the command of Comdt (JG) R Ramesh vectored CG ship to the position of the suspected boat. The boarding team of ICGS Durgabai Deshmukh under the command of Comdt Atul Joshi apprehended 96 foreign nationals at 1400 hrs on 5th Jan. All the personnel were taken on board. Apprehended boat has been escorted to Diglipur for handing over to local police.

Port Blair, Jan. 3: An Advance Training Programme on Jute Shopping Bags, sponsored by National Jute Board (NJB), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, Kolkata & organised by Jute Service Centre -Port Blair in collaboration with A & N Consultancy Centre (ANCON), Port Blair, will be inaugurated at the Parish Hall of St. Thomas Marthoma Church, Goal Ghar on Friday, January 04, 2013 at 03 : 30 PM.

Shri R. K. Tripathi, AGM, SBI-Regional Office, Port Blair has kindly consented to be the Chief Guest at the inaugural function.