Port Blair, July 11: Responding to the grievances brought to his knowledge by the owners of Scuba Diving Centers with regard to non renewal of license of Dive Centers set up at various locations in these islands, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Member of Parliament, A&N Islands has taken up the matter with the A&N Administration urging them to consider the matter for renewal of Diving License to the owners those applied for the same, at the earliest as per rule.
The Member of Parliament informed to the Secretary (Tourism), A&N Administration that around 50 Dive Centers are operating in these islands at various locations i.e. North Bay in Port Blair, Swaraj Dweep, Shaheed Dweep etc which providing lively hood to more than 800 families. In order to operate the Dive Centers continuously for providing scuba diving facilities to the tourist visiting these islands, the concerned Dive Centers have submitted their applications much before the prescribed window period of 2 (two) moths to the Directorate of Tourism, A&N Administration for renewal of their license. In pursuance to that, the Safety Audit was carried out by the National Institute of Water Sports, Goa as per the prescribed norms from 21st April to 3rd May, 2019 but their licenses are yet to be renewed. However, it is learnt that the National Institute of Water Sports, Goa has not cleared the safety audit of the Dive Centers, which apparently appears to be the reason for not giving the annual renewal of the license to the Dive Centers, by the Directorate of Tourism.
The MP also further stated that if the delay is caused for renewal of license for Dive Canters for any reasons, it will not only adversely affect the tourism industry in these Islands but also to face financial losses by the Dive Centers to bear additional financial burdens for refunding their bank loans, besides creation of unemployment problems for more than 800 families involved in this trade directly or indirectly for their livelihood which is only the main source of income for their survival.
Hence, Mr. Shamra, has requested the Secretary (Tourism), A&N Administration to resolve the matter of renewal of annual license of the Drive centre at the earliest as per the rules keeping in view of safety and security.