Pesticides and herbicides have created two major problems by persisting and accumulating in the environment and contaminating numerous plants and animals and secondly they affect human health directly or indirectly. Pesticides can pollute air, water and soil and can have harmful effects on plants and human beings. They can also be hazardous for all forms of aquatic life.

Most pesticides such as DDT, DDE, DDD, dieldrin and heptachlor epoxide and most herbicides such as 2,3,5_T( 245 trichlorophenoxy acetic acid ) dioxin have been extensively used for control of diseases and crop destroying insects. The most common fertilizers used are DAP, MOP, Urea and Rock phosphate. These fertilizers provide Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium which are very vital to plant growth are being extensively used in the Andaman islands. This practice is leading to Eutrophication of nearby coastal area leading to degradation of coasts. These inputs are chemicals which are non biodegrable pollutants that do not degrade or degrade very slowly. Thus they contaminate the ecosystem and enter food chains. Since they become more concentrated at higher trophic levels causing bioaccumulation and biomagnifications. Certain pesticides have mutational effects on human DNA molecules. DDT which is commonly used is reported to have lethal effects in small doses. It is also suspected to be carcinogenic in human tissues.

There are 10,414 land holdings in the Islands. The average land each household has two acres of paddy land and two acres of hilly land. The utilization of land and water by the farmer is not efficient so farming becomes uneconomical. In the present agriculture practice greater use of chemical fertilizer is creating problems of salinity, affecting water table and day by fields per hectare are going down. Soils are being degraded due to soil erosion and leaching of plant nutrients. Agro forestry is a system which combines the benefits of forest ecosystem and agricultural practices which seems to be ideally suited to the islands.

Visualizing the damaging effects of pesticide and fertilizer pollution biofertilizer seems to be a good alternative. The concept of biofertilizer such as Vermicompost is gaining momentum and has the potential to reduce the environmental costs accrued to use of fertilizer and pesticides. Organically grown vegetables are also being explored by various multinationals and health conscious individuals. In South Andaman’s and Little Andaman’s about 800 organic vegetable gardens have been set up for tsunami affected women beneficiaries under the backyard Agro forestry promotion of ADRA India NGO. They also produce and use Vermicompost.

Introduction: Agriculture in modern times is getting more and more dependent upon the steady supply of artificial fertilizers and pesticides with the introduction of green revolution technologies. In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands about 1,50,000 hectares of forest was deforested to make way for agriculture and settlers. This resulted in the loss of top soil and reduction of soil fertility. Agriculture in the Andaman Islands is new as most of the pests and diseases are introduced. Due to change in the cultivation practice and also due to the limiting factors of Island ecology, many of the minor pests and diseases became major. A total of 15556.62 lakhs is the crop loss estimated by CARI in the year 2008.
Agriculture in the islands started with the establishment of penal colony in 1858. The modernization of agriculture was started by advocating the use of chemical fertilizer, pesticide and improved seeds which are imported from mainland and distributed to farmers at subsidized prizes. A track record of over 20 years of agriculture in the Islands shows that the land which supported the giant evergreen forest has not been able to support worthwhile agriculture.
The soil fertility map of Andaman Islands show medium availability of N and low availability of P and K. Hence it becomes necessary to enrich the soil quality using various artificial fertilizers. Further toxic chemicals like insecticides pesticides, fungicides, rodenticides are generally used to kill insects, weeds fungi and rodents respectively to protect crop plants or their harvested parts against their attacks. These chemicals are collectively called biocides. 
The Islands man made ecosystems comprise of agricultural crops and plantations, to grow more and more crops chemicals are being used indiscriminately. This may cause environmental disaster especially in coastal zones.

How they work: Fertilizers and pesticides may be introduced directly into the environment in a liquid phase, as a dispersion or solution or in a solid form as powder or granular form. Sprays are directed to the foliage. Solids are applied to soil surface or foliage. Some fertilizers are systemic that is they get absorbed in the Plant tissues and end up in the consumers. Some of them are contact, which are applied on the surface to fight pests and diseases.
These biocides tend to remain active long after destroying the target i.e. pests weeds, fungi and rodents. On continued application these agrochemicals causes contamination of food of food materials, disruption of natural balance of ecosystem by killing non target species and gradual increase in the immunity of target organisms to these chemicals. Further since most of these chemicals are not biodegradable they enter the food chain and persist in plant and animal bodies.
Bioaccumulation and bio magnification of pesticide: Continued use of huge amounts of different kinds of poisonous agricultural pesticides increase their concentration in the organism and multiplies through food chain and a phenomenon called biomagnifications is caused which moves up in the food chain and affects the apex species in the food pyramid. Man also situated at the higher tropic level of food accumulates these poisons and many cases of food poisoning and contamination are reported.
What compounds are used: The most common fertilizers used are DAP, MOP, Urea and Rock phosphate. These fertilizers provide Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium which are very vital to plant growth. 
Nitrate: The dramatic response of this fertilizer has led many farmers to use it excessively which gets leached down to the ground water. In Neil Island ground water has been declared unfit for consumption because of leaching of fertilizers into the well. Nitrates cause eutrophication of water bodies. Nitrate causes health hazards like Methaemoglobnemia, cancer, and respiratory illness and toxicity to plants.
Fluoride pollution : Phosphates fertilizers and rock phosphate are very popular contain F as an impurity leading to high level of fluoride accumulation in soils and ground water leading to mottled teeth in children.
What pesticides are commonly used in the Andaman Islands: About 120 pesticides with 200 formulations have been approved for manufacturing and usage. Pesticide residues in food and milk are highest in India. 
Most pesticides such as DDT, DDE, DDD, dieldrin and heptachlor epoxide and most herbicides such as 2,3,5_T( 245 trichlorophenoxy acetic acid ) dioxin have been extensively used for control of diseases and crop destroying insects. Carbofuran, phorate, endosulphan, Quinolphos, Carbaryl, Dithane M,thiram, Strptocycline, bavistin, Streptoclcline, formalin, carbendazim,copper oxychloride, Dimecron Thiram etc are a few of the available pesticides in the Islands. Endosulphan series ,cyper methrine,DDT,BHC and weedicides such as glyphocite for eradicating grasses, termites for destroying ants,snails,and termites
In the Andaman Islands the agricultural department through their depot sell most of the pesticides and there are few private shops supply in pesticides. It was observed that 90% of pesticide sold was being for vegetable and rest 10% on other crops. The most wide spread contaminants because of agricultural are nitrates and phosphates inputs.
What is the withdrawal period: Most pesticides when used have a withdrawal period that is they should be applied in a stipulated time before their harvest. But this is not being followed by the farmers as vegetable production is mostly done by sharecroppers who want to reap maximum benefits in a limited time. The farmers are not aware about the dosages of fertilizers and pesticides and depend upon the sellers. Sometimes they are also misguided and end up using doses that are incorrect and unnecessary
Off late vegetables have become the focus of most farmers especially share croppers who get agricultural land on lease for farming activity. Vegetable production is very profitable and there is a tendency to use more than required dosage of artificial fertilizers. But the intensive use of fertilizers and pesticides is producing more vegetables but these vegetables come with a lot of side effects as the fertilizers and pesticides used are systemic and are retained in the tissues of the vegetables and can cause serious health Issues when consumed. The Shelf life of the vegetables produced presently is very small and also leading to economic losses.
Adverse effects are being noticed due to the excessive and imbalanced use of chemical fertilizers. This situation has lead to identifying of various diseases such as hypertension, kidney Failure, calcium deficiencies, stone formation in gall bladder and kidneys and bone disease. Use of Harmless bio-fertilizers such as vermin-compost in crop cultivation will help in safeguarding the soil health and also the quality of crop products. In a study conducted by Tamil Nadu agricultural university it was concluded that vermin-compost application reduces the inorganic fertilizer bill to the tune of 25 per cent.
The continued usage of chlorinated pesticides in agriculture has been responsible for the presence of residues in the grains, milk, eggs, vegetables and human tissues including breast milk. 
What are the consequences if pesticides are ingested: 

They should go to the hospital immediately or seek medical care
Suggestions to use biological control
Pheromone traps and light traps to be used instead of pesticide
Disposal of pesticide container or traces will end up in cows’ milk

The problem of stray cattle, stray dogs and pigs on roads is not something new to the city. The more the city is made beautiful, the more stray animals can be seen roaming in the main roads of the city. These stray animal cause traffic jams and accidents. Their dung causes dirty roads, cluttered parks and clogged drains. They can take a nap anywhere, even in the middle of the road. Sometimes they get agitated and attack humans as well. These stray animals not only give an ugly impression to urban locality, also risk the chances of road accidents to a remarkable extent. These animals constantly eat food from garbage and leftovers and most of them are sick and not healthy as they do not live on grass and hygienic food.
Stray animals are creating a nuisance for the commuters and pedestrians as a large number of stray cattle and dogs roam on busy roads of the city. Many accidents have taken place due to stray cattle and the number of such victims is on the rise. Almost every road is struggling to cope up with the menace of stray cattle. The problem is especially severe in the evening, when the cattle are let free and invariably end up on the road.
The irony is we are fascinated that the Port Blair Airport has been declared as International airport and soon the city will be booming with foreign tourists and the Islands have embarked on the path to become the most sought after tourism destination in the World. Needless to say, the city is still confronted with problems such as stray animals menace.
Although most of these stray cows are actually left by owners because they do not have place to let their animals lose for gazing grass. Ideally these animals should be removed and sent to a forest where they can live their natural life. Before sending them to a preferred location they should be sterilized so that they cannot reproduce further. Creating shelters on outer city limits is a good idea which the authorities must seriously ponder over. All cattle should be fitted with some identification mark for identification purpose.
Strict penalty should be imposed on owners of these stray cattle. Efforts must also be made to impose responsible ownership among cattle keepers. The Port Blair Municipal Council must ensure that cattle owners do not let animals block traffic in busy roads. Traffic police should be involved to keep away stray cattle away from busy sections of the roads.
The Municipal Council has crores of rupees, but still it has not been able to effectively deal with the problem. Despite continuous cry by the city dwellers to curb the menace, the authorities have failed to do the needful. The stray cattle that are caught in the morning are left in the evening to be caught again in the morning.
NGO’s and private donors can also extend their helping hand to get rid of the problem. They can help by way of setting gaushalas in suburbs so that these cattle can found shelters. Appeal would be made to every temple, gurdwara and other religious institutions to donate funds for feeding the “helpless creatures”. The medical care would be provided by the veterinary department.
It is high time that all concerned must seriously ponder over this important issue to find a long-lasting solution to the problem.
Vijay Roy
M.Com, Diploma in Journalism
Port Blair, A & N Islands

The residents of Bambooflat, Wimberllygunj, Shore Point and several other villages of the Ferrargunj Teshil for many years have been dreaming about a bridge connecting Chatham and Bambooflat. A people’s movement is gaining momentum, demanding the construction of a bridge across the sea that separates Chatham and Bambooflat by at least one kilometer. 
Just imagine, if such a bridge really comes up connecting these two parts of the land, it not only increases potential for economic progress that improves general living conditions but will facilitate round the clock movement of people and vehicles. The critically ill and seriously injured patients will be immensely benefited as they can be immediately rushed to G. B. Pant hospital in the shortest possible time without wasting precious time and travelling through the long road route. 
People can even come to this part of the city by walk. The huge rush of passengers in the ferry boats/ vehicle ferries witnessed on a daily basis can be done away with. Besides improving the connectivity, it will ease the rush of passengers in ferry boats and vehicle ferries. The Directorate of Shipping Services, which is finding it very difficult to cater to the growing movement of passengers and commuters can also heave a sign of relief.
“We have been watching in the Discovery and National Geography Channels about massive bridges being constructed in a number of foreign countries, but such a bridge in our Islands, hard to believe, not possible”, said one Ashok Sharma.
“A bridge between Chatham and Port Blair, great to hear, said a resident of Bambooflat. Yes, the Govt. must go for such a project immediately. It will benefit in quick transportation of critically ill patients to the main hospital at Port Blair”, he lamented.
The construction of such a bridge would in fact provide an option to the passengers to travel either by ferry boats or over the bridge. The Administration must without much delay moot a massive bridge project proposal, which should be included in our development plan and implemented on an urgent basis so that a long-standing demand of the people of the region would be fulfilled. Before this, a feasibility study of the bridge must be explored to the full through a survey by a team of experts. 
The bridge would not only go a long way in improving road connectivity between Port Blair and Bambooflat, but will help in the all-round development of the Islands besides help exploit the commercial market for the produce of this region and enable price control of vegetables and food items. Long distance from the city was one hassle that plagued the transportation of produce from this part of the area to find its way in the city market.
The accelerated rate of motorization occurring in the city in the last few years then it can possibly accommodate, led to growing traffic congestion which has emerged as one of the most serious transport problem facing the city. Most of the city roads are witnessing serious traffic chaos on almost all days resulting in huge inconvenience to the vehicular traffic and pedestrian alike. All most all streets and lanes, largely residential are increasingly beginning to resemble noisy main roads. The situation is so pathetic that parents have to tell their children to take extra care while going to neighbours houses as they believe the area remain no more residential any more. This is because right from heavy vehicles to an annoying array of motorbikes, vehicles take the smaller lanes as short-cut to reach their destinations. The smoke and dust generated often leave people coughing through the day. Rush and negligent driving by motorists have added to their vows. Dangerous driving by motorists has become rampant. The alarming road accidents are testimony to the fact.  
Traffic congestion occurs when a volume of traffic generates demand for space greater than the available road capacity. There are a number of specific circumstances which cause or aggravate congestion-most of them reduce the capacity of a road at a given point or over a certain length. Traffic congestion has a number of negative effects: It is seen as wasting of time of the motorists and passengers. Delays, which may result in late arrival for employment, meetings and disciplinary action by employer, wasted fuel, increases air population, wear and tear on vehicles as a result of idling in traffic and frequent acceleration and braking, leading to more frequent repairs and replacements, stressed and frustrated motorists, encouraging road rage, emergencies blocked traffic may interfere with the passage of emergency vehicles traveling to their destinations where they are urgently needed. 
Shortage of Parking space: Another important aspect that required serious attention by the authorities is the lack of sufficient parking place for vehicles. People park their vehicles in main road causing great inconvenience to pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Parking has been a problem in the city for several years and increase in the number of vehicles has only added to it. Four-wheelers used to park their vehicles on pavements, leaving no space for pedestrians to walk. It is common to see vehicles parked haphazardly even on busy roads in the city. One of the main contributing factors for the worsening of parking problem in the city is the lack of adequate parking space in most of the commercial buildings. Addressing parking shortage and traffic congestion in the city is very important in the long term planning for the city.  
New parking sites must be developed to accommodate more cars on a free basis in the city’s residential areas. Several residential areas in the town have been facing an acute shortage of parking space for a long time. It is therefore imperative that the number of parking sites in the city must be increased. There is ample vacant land in the city in which parking space can be developed. There are several commercial complexes in the cities but none of them have parking facility. New buildings in the city do not have adequate parking space. As a result, people who come to these buildings are forced to park their vehicles outside. Owners of all such complexes must be directed to clear the basements of their building to provide parking space. Construction of flyovers and over-bridges at important road junctions is being seen by some as possible solution to the traffic congestion in areas like Babuline, Junglighat and Aberdeen Bazaar, which is creating problems for the movement of vehicular traffic in day as well as night. 
Impact of technology: Technology does not replace the larger solution, but it does provide some needed temporary relief. New measures like construction of new road infrastructure as well as improvement in the public transport system has to be initiated to control traffic congestion. Measures such as city planning and urban design practices can have huge impact on further traffic congestion. Road space rationing must be implemented to prevent certain type of vehicles from driving in certain areas which would help ease traffic congestion. Measure like school opening time to avoid peak hour traffic has helped reduce traffic congestion to a considerable extent. A very convenient system need to be implemented to minimize the inconvenience of the people. 
Role of Traffic Police: Though, a full-fledged Traffic Unit is managing the helm of affairs as regard city traffic in the Port Blair town, one is made to understand that traffic regulation in the city is restricted mainly in imposing challan on two-wheelers for not wearing helmets rather focusing on mitigating the real traffic related problems. Traffic police can be seen in different points of the city imposing challan on two wheelers and autos. Monitoring traffic movements and road situations, checking irregularities and violation of the law, operational involvement in traffic regulations as and when needed, involvement in educational drives launched by the traffic police from time to time, making suggestions for improvement of various traffic problems, continuously promoting road safety awareness in public and school children, rendering assistance to victims of road accidents, helping and guiding pedestrians to cross road and walk on footpaths safely, guiding road users to observe traffic rules, preventing violation of traffic rules and regulations, helping police to maintain order on festivals and other occasions and ensuring regulating traffic and inculcating better traffic sense in the public are some of the other issues which the traffic police must focus on in the greater interest of smooth movement of city traffic.