Port Blair, May 20: Drawing the attention of the Lt. Governor on the decision of the Administration to bring stranded islanders by ship from Kolkata, the Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has demanded that the stranded islanders be brought to the islands immediately by flights, since there is no rail connectivity to the islands and getting people by ship will be risky.

The CITU, General Secretary, B Chandrachoodan in his letter to the Lt. Governor said that the decision to bring the stranded islanders from mainland by flight was under consideration of the Administration and the Govt. of India as per the reports circulating in the social media. The sudden change in the mode of transport of these  islanders has come as a  rude shock to the relatives of the stranded islanders and others.  These people have been  stranded in various places on the mainland for the last nearly two months and have been  facing untold hardship and difficulties for their accommodation, food, etc.   Putting them under further stress due to the wrong decision of the authorities to  transport them to the islands by ship is  inhuman and injustice to them. 

Since these islands are not connected by rail, the islanders who are stranded at mainland are entitled to be brought back by flight as is being done in the case of stranded people abroad who are being brought  to the  country  by special flights. 

Since these people are all coming from covid infested states on the mainland, it is  essential that they should be  brought only  by flight in order to  avoid any risk of  infection while travelling on board the ship. 

CITU has therefore requested the Lt. Governor to reconsider the  decision of the Administration  to bring the stranded people from mainland by ship  and  take up the matter with the Govt. of India  for specially chartered flights for the purpose  on  free of cost basis  as these stranded  islanders are not in a position to  pay for their  journey due to their prolonged stay on the mainland.