People of Long Island
Long Island has an electoral roll of about 2000 residents, but only about 75 live full-time.The climate is fairly steady ranging from 27-32 degree C throughout the year, with a good chance of torrential monsoon rain between May and September. This comfortable climate makes survival possible on this island. People survive by fishing, growing vegetables and doing casual work where they can. The native language of Long Island is English.
Economy of Long Island
The economy of this island once flourished owing to the establishment of the headquarters of Middle Andaman Forest division and a plywood industry called Kitply. This island prospered with business as this industry was operational in 24 hours shift. However, in 1989, the headquarter of Middle Andaman shifted from here to Rangat and after 2002, based on the Honorable Supreme Court judgment, Kitply was closed. Consequently, people became more dependent on government driven employment generation schemes which were not sufficient to take care of the employment requirements of this island. The population gradually started declining and this island is now called a deserted island. Minimal infrastructure on this island comprises of a power-house, well equipped boat building yard, senior secondary school, bank, wireless facilities, hospital, government rest house, range forest office, temple and even police outpost. It is devoid of any road network. Only a 4 feet wide concrete footpath connects different parts of the panchayat area starting from the jetty. Thus, a comfortable stay on this island can only be ensured by these limited facilities. Dilapidated buildings have become a part of this island’s history, so they now grab tourist attraction. The small bazaar is without any business and the people therefore struggle to live a comfortable life. The people currently require employment opportunities not only to balance their lives, but also to develop the economy of this island. Thus, promotion of tourism was a viable option forwarded by the local government, given this island is studded with natural beauty.
Tourism in Long Island
This place is best suited for village tourism. Visitors can experience village life in tranquility. Ardent adventure lovers would be able to explore the greenery around and crystal clear sea. Aesthetic appeal of the island lies in the dense forests, green hills, marine wealth and sandy beaches. Dense tropical forests of all types ranging from tidal swamp forests to evergreen forests can also be traversed by the islanders. The sea around the island is frequented by dolphin convoys. One can reach Lalaji Bay by walking through the forest. It will take 1.5-2 hours. This island is scenic for it’s long stretch of white soft sand and turquoise blue waters bathed in warm sunlight. Green coconut palms and it’s marine life also gained tourist attraction. Adventure lovers can explore it’s potential for swimming and snorkeling. About a 2 hour trek away, reaching here by foot, through the jungle, is an experience on its own. Boats do ply, but infrequently, either because of weather conditions or government regulations. Carrying lots of water and snacks are imperative as no facilities are available on the beach. Long Island also boasts of wonderful uninhabited islands with lovely beaches, including Guitar Island, North Passage Island and the spectacular Merk Bay. Long Island also has the intriguing North Button, South Button and Middle Button Islands. This place has huge potential for lodging, camping, swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving and forest trekking. It is also a paradise for birding.
Increment in employment opportunities on this island is consequential to development of tourism on this attractive yet secluded island. Considering the fact that this Island has a huge potential for sports activities, appropriate measures by the administration will yield high revenues.
This island can be reached by a ferry from Phoenix Bay Jetty at Port Blair or Havelock Island.
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