21September2019

Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

73rd Independence Day celebrated in Isles

LG Appeals Islanders to Work with Dedication and Join Hands in Creating ‘New Andamans’

Port Blair, Aug.16: The 73rd Independence Day was celebrated befittingly in the Islands, together with the rest of the country yesterday. The National Flag was hoisted at prominent and historic places beside Govt. offices and education institutions across the Islands. The State level function was held in the historic Netaji Stadium, in which the Lt. Governor, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Admiral D K Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.) hoisted the National Flag and inspected the parade contingents of Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Junior and Senior Division NCC Cadets from different schools of the town and trainees from the District Institute of Education, Garacharama.

The Lt. Governor on the occasion gave away President’s Police Medals to a Police personnel, Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Police Training to two Police personnel and LG’s Commendation Certificates to seven persons and two Units, one of the Administration and the other of Coast Guard. The President’s Police Medal was awarded to SI R Vinod Kumar of A&N Police while SI Abdul Manaf and HC Koteshwar Rao, also of A&N Police received the Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Police Training, Indoor and Outdoor respectively. Dr. Poonam Arora, Chairperson, SSWB, Shri Dipen Saha, Musician, Shri A Murari, Forester, Shri Uttam Kumar Mistry, Forest Guard, Shri U Bharthi, Student from JNRM, Shri D Nagarajan, Agriculture Officer and Kumari G Priya, Student GSSS Mohanpura were conferred with the LG’s Commendation Certificates besides the Recruitment & Examination Cell of the Personnel Wing, Secretariat, A&N Administration and the Pollution Response Team of the Indian Coast Guard.

Addressing the gathering, the Lt. Governor highlighted the development activities that have taken place in the recent past and the future development plans for the Isles. The Lt. Governor said that the Islands, under the guidance of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has been marching forward in the path of progress as ‘New India’ and ‘New Andamans’. Through Islands Development Agency and with the help of NITI Aayog, Holistic Development of Island Territories is under progress and out of the 85 identified Islands for Holistic Development, 58 are in Andaman & Nicobar, the Lt Governor added.

The Lt Governor, while informing about some of the recent development projects in these Islands stated that CRZ clearance for the mega tourism projects in Long, Smith and Aves Islands and Shaheed Dweep has been received. These tourism projects will be created keeping in view the ecological balance and sustainable development and based on the international parameters (GRIHA, LEED & Green Globe). The bidding for these projects will be done as soon as the SFC/PPAC approval is received. This will have an investment of Rs 650 crores in A&N Islands and will boost the economic development and contribute towards employment generation for the local youth to a great extent.

The Lt. Governor further informed that efforts are on to establish a branch of National Institute of Water Sports, for which the combined teams of NIWS, NIOT and ZSI has identified some areas at North Bay.

In the health sector, the Lt. Governor said that the work for up gradation of Primary Health Centre, Garacharma to District Hospital, Community Health Centre Diglipur to Sub District Hospital and 50 bedded AYUSH Hospital is under progress. A new 80 bedded Hospital Complex will come up at GB Pant Hospital Complex soon. The establishment of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadi Kendras at Diglipur and Garacharma is in final stages. The facility of Ultrasound and Dialysis will be made available in some big Islands so that the patients need not come to Port Blair for want of these facilities/treatments.

In the Education Sector, the Lt. Governor said, the schools functioning under A&N Administration are performing well. The Govt. Sr. Sec. School Kadamtala has been bestowed with Wipro Earthian National Award in the Bio Diversity category for their work/project done on Sustainable Thinking. Our students have bagged 19 Medals in the 64th SGFI National School Championship held in the month of January 2019 while in Tang Soo Do Under-17 Girls and Sqay Martials Art Under-19 Girls events, the Islands’ girls have scored 2nd position thus bringing laurel to these Islands.

In the Power Sector, the Administration is making its best efforts for maximum utilization of Green Energy and de-dieselization upto 90 percent. Till now Solar Power Plants, having 11.5 MW have been installed and further work for installing 17.5 MW is underway. During the year 2018-19, the installed Solar Power Capacity have increased upto 94 percent compared to last year and efforts are on to increase the percentage upto 176% during this financial year. The A&N Administration has signed an MoU with NTPC for the establishment of 50 MW LNG based Power Plant at Hope Town. This Power Project will be first of its kind in the East Coast of India. To meet the growing demand of power at Swaraj Dweep, a 3.2 MW Diesel Generator Set will be established. Containerized DG Sets will be established at Panighat (Mayabunder) in October 2019, which will help provide effective Power Supply to the residents of North Andaman.

In the Shipping Sector, a 500 Pax Capacity Passenger Vessel will join the shipping fleet by the end of the year while another Vessel of similar capacity will join the fleet at the end of next year. Meanwhile, the Administration is also making effort for Reverse Chartering two 100 pax capacity ships. A 50 bedded Dormitory cum Passenger Hall and STARS Ticketing Counter have also been made available for the ship passengers of Vishakhapatnam. The extension work of the existing Dry Dock for the repairing of boats at Port Blair will be completed by August 2020. With the announcement of Port Meadow as Ship to Ship Transshipment Port, these Islands will become a hub for Transshipment in near future. Expression of Interest has been invited for the development of Container Transshipment Terminal and Free Trade & Ware Housing Zone at Great Nicobar. Yacht Marina for yacht tourism and a Passenger Terminal of International Standard at Swaraj Dweep and extension of Campbell Bay Jetty will be taken up under Sagar Mala Project, the Lt. Governor said.

In the Civil Aviation Sector, the Lt. Governor said that the Air strips at Shibpur (Diglipur), Car Nicobar and Campbell Bay will be of Dual Use Airports for the Defense and Civil Aviation. Shibpur Airport is ready for Flight Services while there is also plan for starting flight services in Diglipur, Car Nicobar and Campbell Bay under the Regional Connectivity Scheme. Water Aerodromes are being developed at Swaraj Dweep, Shaheed Dweep and Long Island for operation of Sea Planes. The A&N Administration is making its best efforts in procuring a sea plane under wet- lease. There is also proposal for including latest model helicopters with increased passenger capacity in A&N Islands in place of the existing old helicopters of Pawan Hans. New helipads will be developed in Tillangchong and Narcondum Islands while the existing helipads spread over different Islands will also be upgraded to facilitate night landing.

In the Water Sector, the Lt. Governor said, a master plan has been prepared for the water supply under which cent percent households will be provided water pipe line by 2020 and the supply of potable drinking water will be ensured in all homes by 2021. The work of laying submarine Pipeline connecting Rutland and Phongi Balu and construction of 1.2 KM long bridge between Minnie Bay and Mithakhari will be taken up this year. There is also a proposal for creation of Andaman Marine Drive from Mithakhari to North Bay. A sea water swimming pool will be re-constructed with the help of IIT Chennai. A Marine Esplanade will be developed from Chatham to Corbyn’s Cove beach for the beautification and economic development of Port Blair. The road widening work from Marina Park to Flag Point, South Point will be completed by January 2020.

The Port Blair Municipal Council is making efforts to establish a 42 KLD Faecal Sludge & Septage Treatment Plant at Brookshabad. Smart Toilets under Smart City Mission have been created in 4 different places of Port Blair Municipal area. Apart from this, Integrate Command and Control Centre & e-governance solution will be implemented so that the services provided by the Administration for the general public will be available on a centralized integrated platform.

The Lt Governor further said that the Islands have already received 20 e-cars and the A&N Administration has signed an MoU with NTPC for 40 Electric AC buses under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. These buses will be available by October 10, 2019. For the first time, bus services have been started in Champin Village in Nancowry during the month of August. To make public transport more attractive, the A&N Administration is going to start the services of Air Conditioned buses in Swaraj and Shaheed Islands. To keep the clean and green environment intact and to encourage green energy, plans are there to launch e-auto and e-bikes in the Isles.

In the telecommunication sector, the Lt. Governor said that with the constant efforts of the government of India the Satellite bandwidth has increased 57 percent in last 3 months and has become 3.86 Gbps by now. The submarine optical fiber cable project is expected to be completed by June 2020 for which constant efforts are being made.

Smart Islander Identity Cards are being issued since March 2019 and the old cards are being replaced with Smart Cards. Apart from this, Online Portal e-Vasudha has been made functional for land record management since July 1, 2019.

With the help of National Cooperative Development Corporation, development activities to the tune of Rs. 224 crores are being taken up in the sectors like fisheries, agriculture and dairy development. Priority is also being accorded to cage culture and seaweed farming with the help of National Institute of Ocean Technology. Efforts are on to establish offices of Marine Products Export Development Authority and Export Inspection Councils Offices at Port Blair for the promotion of export of tuna and other fishes. Apart from this, local youth are also being trained in tuna fishing.

To improve traffic in Port Blair, work is underway to develop flyovers and underpasses besides creation of safe city and Intelligent Traffic Management System. A&N Islands have been connected with Pan India Network of Single Emergency Helpline No. 112 for help during crisis. For the women in distress, an emergency helpline service 181 has been made available by Health and Police Department, said the Lt Governor.

The fire service constable, Shri K.P. Mammu secured 3 Gold Medals in the Asian Medals Athletics Meet-2019 held at Colombo while Sub Inspector Regina Kiro won 1 Bronze and 2 Silver Medals in the Open International Canoe Sprint Championship- 2019 in Bhopal. Both the sports persons have brought laurels to these Islands.

Recently Govt. of India has provided relaxation in Compensatory Afforestation for States and UTs with CRZ Limits and having 75 percent forest cover. The A&N Administration is making best efforts in freeing 162.50 Sq. Kms. deemed forest for the development works in these Islands. An Action Plan and Standard Operating Procedure have been put in place to remove crocodiles from ‘Crocodile Free Zone’.

The Lt Governor lauded the effort of the A&N Command for their works towards the security of A&N Islands and its Coastal areas and the support it provides to the Civil Administration in times of need. He also lauded the efforts of different Department functioning under A&N Administration and the staff, who have been performing as a committed team for the development of these Isles. The Lt. Governor also thanked the elected members, political parties and civil society for their unflinching support in taking forward the development activities in these Islands.

The Lt. Governor sought the cooperation and support of the people in meeting the challenges and taking these Islands on the path of all round development and reaffirmed his commitment towards the happiness, prosperity and holistic development of A&N Islands. He also appealed everyone to work with dedication and join hands with the A&N Administration towards creation of ‘New Andamans’.

Earlier the Lt Governor visited the National Memorial Cellular Jail and placed wreath at the Martyr’s column there. 

The function was attended among others by the First Lady of the Islands, Smti Chitra Joshi, Member of Parliament, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Smti Vineeta Sharma the Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Shri Chetan B Sanghi, DGP, Shri Dependra Pathak, PCCF, Shri Tarun Coomar, Chairperson PBMC, Smt. Anusia Devi, Adhyaksh ZPSA, Shri Sanjib Mandal, Senior officers from Defence and A&N Administration, public representatives from Urban Local Body and PRIs, besides spouses of Freedom Fighters who were incarcerated in Cellular Jail and general public. 

The Defence as well as DSS Ships anchored near Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island were illuminated during the evening. The brightness of the full moon night added further colour to the Independence Day celebration.