Uttara Kannada takes a dive to boost tourism

A J Vinayak Netrani Island (Karnataka) | Updated on March 01, 2020

Ganesh Harikantra, scuba diving entrepreneur, from Murdeshwar of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka

Promotes scuba diving to create entrepreneurship opportunity

Ganesh Harikantra (35), proprietor of ‘Netrani Adventures’, is a young entrepreneur from the fishermen community of Uttara Kannada district. Apart from being a professional scuba diver, he also provides jobs to many others in his entrepreneurship journey as a scuba diving operator in Murdeshwar of Uttara Kannada district.

Harikantra, who has been operating his scuba diving agency since 2015, said Netrani Island is a unique location for scuba diving in the State. Though the neighbouring Goa offers scuba diving experience, that site is located close to the beach. Compared to that, Netrani offers a completely different experience, he said.

The adventure sport activities take place from October to May at five locations near the Netrani Island. These locations offer depths ranging from 2 metres to 30 metres below the sea for scuba diving.

As of now, Harikantra has 10 trained instructors to carry out the scuba diving activities. Stating that they are all professionally trained, he said they have done Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) course from PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). Netrani Adventures also offers PADI-certified scuba diving courses, he said.

He said his team has successfully helped people up to the age group of 85 years to do scuba diving.

Asked about the current season of scuba diving, he said the tourist inflow is less compared to the previous year. He attributed floods and cyclones last year as reasons for this. These factors force people to postpone their scuba diving plans, he said.

Harish Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Uttara Kannada district, said that the district administration is planning to conduct ‘scuba diving festival’ once in every two years to boost adventure tourism in the district. Netrani Island is the only scuba diving location in Karnataka, he said, adding that ‘One District, Many Adventures’ is the theme of Uttara Kannada district’s tourism initiatives.

The administration has taken a decision to restrict the number of visitors to scuba diving locations at Netrani Island to a maximum of 100 members.

Published on March 01, 2020

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