It is a well-known fact that the Lakshadweep is a beautiful tourist place, under the direct administrative control of the Government of India. It takes 16 to 18 hours by ship and one hour by flight to reach this beautiful place from Kochi. The tourists are attracted by the serene beauty of the islands, the silvery-sand beaches, the vast lagoons, the dive (SCUBA) spots etc., are available in the Lakshadweep.
It will be appreciated that the people living in the mainland, have easy access to the goods and services needed in life. They are fortunate to avail all the convenience which the most modern developments of science and technology, for a stylish life. On the other hand, the islanders are, due to the peculiar geographical conditions, dependant upon the mercy of the Lakshadweep administration for each and every requirement of their life.
Higher education, better employment, good health, better living conditions etc., which the mainlanders are fortunate to enjoy, are only the unfulfilled dreams of most of the islanders who are destined to live in poorer living conditions for no fault of theirs.
The revenue derived from tourism, spent at the will and mercy of the officials of the Lakshadweep Authority is a major source of funds for the welfare and development of the poor islanders. The officials decide the quantum and method of such welfare measures. The tyranny here is that the Lakshadweep officials who are designated and posted there with specific responsibilities to take care, on behalf of the Government of India, the socio-economic conditions of the poor islanders, are not only evading their real duties but are also creating distressing situations in the area.
Despite the vast tourism potentials, the Lakshadweep authorities, it is sad to say, do not appear to be committed to develop the tourism sector and the revenue for the welfare of the islanders. Compelled by these circumstances, an ‘All-Party Action Council of Lakshadweep’ has decided to boycott all government functions to protest against certain decisions taken by the Lakshadweep administration against the interests of the people of the islands.
Their main objection was against the decision of the authorities to lease out the Bangaram Tourist Resort. It was the most profitable tourism property of the Lakshadweep. The All-Party Action Council strongly demands that all actions to call for quotations for leasing the Bangaram Tourist Resort has to be cancelled.
According to them, the Administrator J.K. Dadoo and Collector N. Vasanthakumar were ignoring the Scheduled Caste Protection Act as well as the economic interests of the poor inhabitants of the Lakshadweep Islands. The two officials are not consulting the elected bodies and people’s representatives, the Action council says.
They further demand that the tenders be reserved to the local people. Before such process is operative, the laying of under-sea optical fiber cable network linking all islands be completed, and the headquarters of Lakshadweep Development Corporation Ltd., be relocated to Kavaratti, from Kochi. It is their further demand that the recruitment rules be amended with provisions to select the candidates by giving due consideration to merit, qualification, and experience.
On the whole, there appears to be something wrong with the present official set up of Lakshadweep Administration and the Sports (SPORTS) a society formed by the Administration to promote (or demote?) tourism & sports in U.T of Lakshadweep.
One do not understand why the islanders are thus harassed, while as the authorities are posted there and assigned with the specific duty and responsibility of bringing up the socio-economic conditions, health and education and job opportunities of the people of Lakshadweep Islands in par with the main land.
This is a matter of great concern when viewed from the need for Human Rights Protection. The matter is, therefore, placed to the attention of the highest authorities with a request to study the subject in detail, be considerate and compassionate to the islanders, and provide all the possible help and support to them.
LACCADIVE.IN News Division, Kochi
Last Updated: 20-07-2011
First Published : 12-06-2011