Andaman's Jarawa Tourism in controversy again

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Port Blair, Mar 5: With growing discomfort among Jarawa activists and local residents, the Andaman and Nicobar Tourism department has once again warned tour operators not to conduct visits to the areas inhabitated by the primitive Jarawa tribes.

An official notice released recently said the tour operators would face severe penal action if they visit the Jarawa tribes areas.

''These notices mean nothing as everybody knows Jarawa tourism is openly conducted everyday. More than 500 tourists visit Jarawa area in privates buses and vans tricking the law of the land,'' said K Ganeshan, chief spokesperson of Andaman and Nicobar Territorial Congress Committee.

Mr Ganeshan told UNI yesterday that for Jarawa tourism every tourist was charged Rs 550 and officially it is shown that all of them were going to visit Baratant Island via Andaman Trunk Road (ATR), which cuts through Jarawa Reserve Area.

On the way tourists were shown Jarawa tribes, in their primitive form, living in jungle, he added.

The tribal areas come under the islands Protection of Aboriginal Tribes Regulations Act, 1956, and the Jarawas being one of the primitive tribes of these archipelago should not be promoted as tourist attraction under any circumstances, the release said.

The administration had earlier restricted entry to these areas and does not allow people to visit these for tourism purposes, the order added.

Meanwhile, some tips had been prescribed for those visiting tribal areas through the 340 km long Andaman Trunk Road, which cuts through the Jarawa Tribal Reserve.

The tourism department has advised tourists not to stop their vehicles in the Jarawa area or allow the Jarawas to get into any of their vehicles.

''We have warned tour operators not to indulge in photography and videography in Jarawa reserve areas,'' the release said.


UNI

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