In this Paradise, Blue is the King
- Raghav Goyal
- Published on 27 Mar 2021, 9:01 am IST
- 4 minutes read
The riot of colours which welcome tourists to India will soon have a new, stronger shade of blue- in the near perfect Havelock Island of Andaman region. Involved in this ambitious project are the top bureaucrats of Andaman.
- The tourist paradise
How does one improve upon perfection? Come to the enchanting Andaman Islands and see for yourself. The magnificent Havelock Island, also called Swaraj Dweep, of the region is known for its breathtaking sunsets, picturesque natural paradise with beautiful white sandy beaches, rich coral reefs and lush green forest. Now tt has been taken up for a further beatification drive under ‘Project Blue’ by the South Andaman district administration.
The formidable personalities backing the project include Mr Jitendra Narain, Chief Secretary, South Andaman, Principal Secretary (Revenue) Mr Vijay Kumar and Deputy Commissioner Mr Suneel Anchipaka.
The Radha Nagar beach in the Swaraj Dweep has already received the prestigious Blue Flag Certificate last year. This eco-tourism model endeavors to provide sustainable infrastructure for the tourists visiting Swaraj Dweep and improve the overall development of local businessmen and shopkeepers.
The Blue Flag certification is an international recognized eco-label accorded by the Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark. It is based on 33 stringent criteria relating to environmental, bathing water quality, educational, safety, services and accessibility standards.
While speaking exclusively with Indian Masterminds, DC South Andaman Mr. Suneel Anchipaka said “One fine day, Chief Secretary Mr. Narain, Principal Secretary Mr. Kumar, myself and my probationer Lakshay Singhal, Assistant Commissioner, were discussing about the new initiative which needs to be taken in the island. Recently the Swaraj Dweep island has also been declared as the new Blue Flag Beach along with seven other beaches in October 2020.”
“During the discussion, we found that there are several shades in the island itself. Especially due the terrain, there were different coloured tin sheds in the whole island which belong to private shop owners. As the island received the Blue Flag certificate and also reflects various shades of blue colour through its flora and fauna, we planned to make ‘blue’ as the uniform colour in the island.”, he added.
The project aims to beautify the whole length along the roadsides in the first phase of the project, aiming to cover a stretch of around two to three kilometers.
KICK-STARTING THE INITIAITIVE
After the ideation stage, it was the role of the Deputy as well as the Assistant Commissioner to implement the initiative, which required the acceptance of the trading community of the area. While speaking about the steps taken by the administration, Mr. Lakshya Singhal said “After enough brainstorming, I called a meeting with the shop owners and market association in the area. We started the project with private shops.”
“During the meeting, we discussed how this cost-effective initiative will help in booming their business and help them in numerous ways. I further explained that the main things required to carry out this initiative was getting sufficient paint and labour to complete the task, which indeed doesn’t cost too much. The other benefit which I explained to them was that it would also help them in maintaining the quality of their shops and prevent rusting. It would also attract more tourists as the whole island would be matching with the colour of their shops, hotels etc.”, he added.
With regular deliberations and friendly interactions, Mr. Singhal tried to convince the local shop owners to paint their shops in a uniform colour. The initiative kickstarted with two shops and later it increased as people got influenced by the attractive colour. The initiative was taken in the month of March 2021 and till date more than 100 shops have been given a facelift. It is an ongoing project and the plan is to cover the whole island in blue.
BENEFITS TO LOCALS
Lately, after the President’s visit, the developmental work has been on the go in South Andaman. From building roads to adding attractive lighting facilities, the administration is trying to make it a paradise for tourists.
After undertaking ‘Project Blue’, several shop owners have shown satisfaction and joy as their business has also started getting more footsteps. Mr. Singhal mentioned about a local Idli maker who is now hiring more people in his shop with the rising demand of tourists. This eco-tourism model will also serve as a gateway for other initiatives and developmental projects on the island, as it is now gaining traction from other parts of the country as well.
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