Minister Deshpande Inaugurates Indian Open of Surfing
Mangaluru: The district administration in association with the Tourism Department, Surfing Federation of India, Mantra Surf Club and Kanara Surfing and Water Sports Promotion Council, organized a three-day Indian Open of Surfing at Sasihithlu beach from May 27 to May 29.
Minister of Tourism and Medium and Large Industries, R V Deshpande inaugurated the surfing competition by unveiling the surfboard.
Addressing the gathering, minister Deshpande said that it was a historic moment for the coastal region since a surfing competition had been organised here for the first time. “Minister Abhayachandra Jain and deputy commissioner A B Ibrahim have worked hard to organize this adventure sports event. To create employment and to increase the income of the government, we need to develop infrastructure. People from all walks of life want to go for tours, and hence, it is necessary that adequate infrastructure is developed. With the help of the government of Karnataka, we took up a project to develop 33 beaches. Beach tourism should flourish.”
He further said that to bring in tourists from other countries, the beaches need to be developed. “There is a potential for Scuba diving also. Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme implemented with the help of the central government, we are developing our beaches at a cost of Rs 92 crore. We are planning to develop tourism in all coastal regions of the country and for this to be successful, we need to relax the CRZ regulations. If the CRZ regulations will be relaxed to areas within 100 meters as opposed to the current 500 meters, the entire coast of India will be developed. An initial proposal of Rs 99 crore was made but the government sanctioned Rs 92 crore for the development of the beaches including cruise, infrastructure, security, safety for 9 beaches – Trasi, Surathkal, Malpe, Maravnthe, Mavinkurve, Murdeshwar, Kudle, Om and Tagore. We don’t have any problem with funds but we do not have a good proposal. If a good proposal comes our way, we are ready to develop the beaches. Uttar Kannada and Udupi have sent their proposals for beach development.”
Stressing on the day for a fixed calendar of events, Deshpande said that the deputy commissioner along with the district minister in-charge should sit together and fix a particular date every year for the Karavali Utsav, Beach festival, Surfing festival and all other annual festivals organised in the district. “If the dates are fixed for annual festivals, people from around the world will come and participate. Many people like to go on tours during holidays. If we publish the dates of the festivals, we can find a large number of people. Surfing has to be an annual event and if you want to attract a large crowd you have to fix a particular date for the next annual event and inform us within 20 days so that we can publish the information on our website and people can decide their tours. This is a recommendation of the Vision group and we have to follow it,” he said urging the district administration to make a fixed calendar of events.
The surfing competition began with the Masters category, and will go on till 3:30 pm. The competition will end on May 29.
District minister in-charge Ramanath Rai and Minister for Youth Services, Sports and Fisheries Abhayachandra Jain also spoke on the occasion. Deputy commissioner A B Ibrahim delivered the vote of thanks. MLA Moideen Bava, Police commissioner Chandra Sekhar, SP Bhushan Gulabrao Borase, ZP CEO Sreevidya, MCC Commissioner Dr Gopalakrishna, Nivedith Alva, Entrepreneur Ronald Colaco, Surfing Baba Jack Hebner and others were also present.