Mangaluru, May 10, 2015: SPORTS - Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports (SPORTS) has urged Dakshina Kannada district administration to strengthen the tourism bond between Lakshadweep’s islands and the coastal city.
SPORTS has introduced a cruise service between Lakshadweep and Mangaluru with a capacity to ferry 150 passengers to Kavaratii and back. However, the infrastructure at the cruise lounge in Mangaluru is not up to the mark. Lack of an entry permit approval centre hinders people from the coastal city to travel to Lakshadweep.
Haji P Pookunhi, assistant general manager, SPORTS, met DK DC Adoor B Ibrahim on May 7, Thursday. He urged the DC to develop the infrastructure at Old Port in the city from where the vessel ’MV Amin Div’ leaves for Lakshadweep. He stated that currently the cruise vessel leaves Mangaluru once in four days. more vessels may be introduced if Dakshina Kannada district authorities provide more facilities. There is no shelter or cruise lounge for passengers at Old Port, which is also a cargo harbor where construction materials and other goods are loaded into country ships. A cruise lounge with the necessary infrastructure needs to be developed to attract more tourists. MV Amin Div has a capacity of 150 passengers and tickets cost Rs 240 for economy class and Rs 400 for upper class, he said, adding that the frequency of service may be increased if the infrastructure at the Old Port is developed on par with other ports. On obtaining entry permit, Pookunhi said that at present, SPORTS has made arrangements to obtain entry permits through their centre in Kochi.
"We will be able to issue entry permits in Mangaluru if both administrations come to an agreement," he added. "SPORTS is a society formed by the Lakshadweep administration in 1982 to promote tourism and to act as the nodal agency for the same," he said, adding that Lakshadweep administrator H Rajesh Prasad is the chairman of SPORTS. DC Ibrahim said he will make arrangements to hold a meeting of SPORTS representatives and stakeholders soon. "Let Lakshadweep administration send a detailed letter. We will look into all issues and make arrangements ," he added.