PORT BLAIR: While the city of Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, enjoys sufficient power supply, Swaraj Dweep — formerly known as the Havelock Island — is reeling under a severe power crisis, according to officials privy to the matter. Swaraj Dweep is among the hotspots of tourism in the archipelago.
According to one of the officials cited above, one of the two diesel generator (DG) sets owned by the A&N administration has failed.This is leading to a shortage of available power on the island.
Hotel and resort owners are worst hit with this new development. They have to run their private generators for over 10 hours a day because of the erratic power supply, which means their operating costs are rising.
“Since Andaman tourism is approaching the lean season, the hotel and resort owners are facing the issue of cost overrun as the room occupancy level is very low,” said G Bhasker, President of the Andaman and Nicobar Hoteliers’ Association.
Adding to their woes, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation Limited (ANIIDCO) outlet on the island is running short of diesel and has cut off hotels and resorts since Thursday, adding to the tension.
According to officials, fuel reached the outlet three days ago but could not be delivered to the pumps because there was no labour.
“The Administration is neither able to provide power to hotels and resorts, nor the fuel to run DG sets. This is the height of mismanagement,” complained a resort owner.
Swaraj Dweep is home to the world famous Radha Nagar beach, which often ranked among top ten beaches of the Asia.
Havelock Island was renamed by the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in December, 2018.
While visiting the archipelago in December last year, PM Modi had also announced the renaming of two other islands — Neil island as Shaheed Dweep and Ross island as Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep.
The Centre had reportedly collected feedback from people on suggestions for names of atleast 150 unnamed islands in the archipelago, but it later scrapped the plan.