PORT BLAIR: The Andaman Nicobar Pradesh Congress Committee today staged a dharna at Port Blair city against the forceful shutdown of stalls of poor and self employed vendors at Andaman’s tourist spot,
North Bay Plantation, by authorities.
The self employed vendors of North Bay Plantation and also the aggrieved street vendors of Municipal area participated in the Dharna in large number.
Mr. Kuldeep Rai Sharma, PCC President in his address has expressed serious concerns over the rising high-handedness and growing insensitivity observed in functioning of the elected local bodies i.e.
Zilla Parishad and Municipal Council towards the poor self employed and unemployed people of these Islands.
Referring to the issue of unemployment, Mr. Kuldeep said that in the private sector, tourism & it’s connected activities are perhaps turning out to be the biggest source of providing livelihood to the
educated and uneducated mass of these islands.
Inviting reference to the recent incident of North Bay, Mr. Kuldeep said, during the past five years or so North Bay beach and its seafront has turned out to be one of the most preferred tourist destination due to Islanders venturing and developing water sports facilities at this arena.
“The North Bay seafront where the water sports activities are conducted lies adjoining to the North Bay Plantation which is held on lease with the Andaman Plantation & Development Corporation Pvt. Ltd.
(APDC) Since there was no shopping facilities available in the vicinity of North Bay beach, the APDC in order to facilitate tourist as also to water sports operators have constructed around 56 temporary eco-friendly stalls and let out at nominal rent to the unemployed people of these islands for selling packaged water, tender coconuts, eatables, sea shell products etc. catering to the need of tourists visiting the place,” he said.
Kuldeep said that these poor self employed people for past five years or so are operating the stalls to earn livelihood for themselves and their families following the norms of having licence for retail shops
issued by the Assistant Labour Commissioner under Shops & Establishment Act and the food stall operators having Food Safety Licence issued by the appropriate authority.
“However, consequent to recent instigation made by the sitting Pradhan of BJP and ex-Zilla Parishad Adyaksh of BJP, these poor self employed people have been instructed to shut down their stalls,” Mr.