Kuldeep meets LG, discusses various burning issues of A & N Islands

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Port Blair, Jan 17: Mr. Kuldeep Rai Sharma, President, Pradesh Congress Committee met the Lt. Governor Admiral D.K. Joshi, (Retd.) on 16/01/2018 and discussed various burning issues impacting the life of the islanders and requested for early appropriate action. The major issues discussed were Early restoration of regular Power supply, Repair & maintenance of ATR, Scarcity of drinking water during summer season, Increase of social security pensions, Re-introduction of air service between Port Blair & Car Nicobar, Air service between Mainland – Island, Influx of Population, Development of Agriculture and Horticulture
During the meeting regarding Power crisis he said that indiscriminate and unprecedented load shedding and power cut has disturbed day to day life of the residents of South Andaman and adjoining areas. The X & XII Class examinations are fast approaching and the students are facing difficulties for preparing their exam due to such indiscriminate power cuts. The PCC President urged the LG to look into the matter and initiate immediate action to solve the problem.
Regarding Repair & maintenance of ATR, Kuldeep mentioned that the Andaman Truck road, which is the life line of Middle and North Andaman, is in worst condition. The road is posing danger to the commuters on the road. Motorists have been facing countless problems negotiating with the dilapidate stretch, some have met with fatal accidents. Mr. Kuldeep requested the Lt. Governor for immediate action for the repair and maintenance of ATR as the general public of Middle & North Andaman as well the visiting tourists are facing untold difficulties because of the worst condition of the road.
During the meet, the LG was also appraised regarding scarcity of water being faced by Port Blair and its adjoining areas if the south west monsoon gets delayed by a month or so despite our islands receiving more than 3000 mm annual rain fall. To overcome the crises it was suggested to revive the Rutland water supply project as short term measure and Flat bay fresh water lake project to meet the long term demand of portable water.
As a part of social security scheme of the Govt. of India, Kuldeep said that financial assistance of Rs. 2000/- in the form of monthly pension are given to Old age people, widows, destitute women and Physically challenged people. This financial assistance has not been increased since long and considering that the prize of all essential commodities have increase many fold, Mr. Kuldeep requested the Administrator for increasing the pension amount to Rs.5000/- p.m.
Regarding Re-introduction of air service between Port Blair & Car Nicobar he mentioned that the air service available once in a week to & fro Car Nicobar and Port Blair has been discontinued. He urged for immediate re- recommencement of service for the benefit of Tribal and serving Govt. servants and suggested that the flight schedule be matched with the shipping schedule of the vessels plying in the southern group of islands in such a manner that the people from Campbell bay and Nancowry group of islands can reach Car Nicobar on the flight day for availing the air service. This will increase the air traffic in the route and also make travelling of the people residing in the far flung southern group of islands easier and faster.
Similarly, it was suggested that possibility may be explored to have couple of our own Aircrafts which perhaps will be economically more viable than travelling by sea from Port Blair to mainland ports in view of subsidy being offered by the Govt. in the shipping sector. Operating our won flight on regular basis at break even fair will have check on the fares of private Airlines too and the air fare on private airlines will also be reduced in the range of Rs.5000/- which will be a great relax to the islanders. Easy availability of flight tickets at low fare will increase the tourist flow which will help in improving the economy of these islands by generating self employment in the field of tourism and allied activities.
Regarding Influx of Population, he mentioned that in view of the limited availability of land, water, electricity and other resources as well as considering the carrying capacity of these islands, Mr. Kuldeep appealed the Lt. Governor for introducing “Inner Line permit system” at the earliest which will check unauthorized influx of population.
As far as development of Agriculture and Horticulture is concerned Kuldeep Pointed out that Vegetables and flowers are being brought from mainland as the present production is insufficient to meet the requirement of Port Blair town. It was suggested that Govt. vacant land be allotted to needy co-operative societies and Self Help Groups on lease / rent basis for production of vegetables and flowers. This will not only solve the unemployment to some extent but also bring down prize of such items. After giving a peaceful hearing to the issues placed by Mr. Kuldeep, PCC President, the Lt. Governor assured appropriate action at the easiest possible.

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