Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ANIIDCO: Shouldering the Burden


ANIIDCO: Shouldering the Burden

With Directorate of Tourism reorienting its role from a tourism service provider to a facilitator and regulator, ANIIDCO, the commercial arm of ANI Admn, which has tourism already in its objectives, has been entrusted with the operational part of tourism activities in the Islands. Earlier, the Havelock beach property was transferred to the Corporation by the tourism department on premium, which was later leased out to Taj group. ANIIDCO has been chosen for two reasons - to keep the revenue in the islands instead of going to the central consolidated fund and leased management of tourism properties.
A few assets like tourist buses and water sports equipments have been already transferred to ANIIDCO. The Corporation is in the process of leasing out the assets to private parties. The water sports equipments have already been tendered and the successful bidder identified. However, for tourist buses, it has not found any takers. Now ANIIDCO is planning to directly conduct packaged tours. When asked how the corporation will manage the buses without technical staff, Mohd Pervaiz, General Manager said that they are in talk with tourism department as well as State Transport Service. The drivers of tourism department may be utilized by STS and diverted to run the buses. However, no decision has been taken on this aspect.
However, it is not clear why the guest houses owned by the department have not been transferred to ANIIDCO for leasing out. It is learnt that the department is directly leasing out the guest houses except Dolphin Resort, Havelock and Guest House at Neil Island. Massive renovation of Dolphin Resort is going on at a cost of Rs 15 crores.

MV Ramanujam Recreational Facility: No Takers

The administration had floated tenders for development of M. V. Ramanujam as a recreational facility. The selected bidder was supposed to design, renovate, engineer and finance the operation and maintenance of MV Ramanajum with recreational facilities for a period of 10 years with a provision of extension of another 5 years. However, even after repeated RFPs, there has been no takers for the ship, which was bought by the department from SCI.
The department was planning to create recreational facilities not limited to floating restaurant, cinema house, club house, spa, game parlours etc. However, Abrahum Varickamakal, Secretary Tourism informed that there is interest from entrepreneurs to make it a casino but nobody is interested in a floating restaurant.
MV Ramanujam is a passenger vessel built in 1972  with 922.98 MT displacement with an average speed of 7.2 Nautical Miles.

Scarcity of Padauk Wood
Canopy Walk Hangs in Balance

The much hyped canopy walk at Mount Harriet and Chidiyatapu is yet to take off even after a year of it overshooting the timeframe. It is learnt from reliable sources at Forest Department that they are unable to supply the requirement of 260 cum of sawn and sized padauk for the construction purpose. The requirement cannot be fulfilled as the size and girth mentioned is not available.
Two canopy walks, the first of its kind of initiative in India was to come up at Chidiyatapu Biological Park and another at Mount Harriet sanctuary.

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