Stranded Islanders May Contact Officer Designated by Tamil Nadu Government by Visiting the Website

Port Blair, May 13: The islanders have seen many IAS Officers who served the Administration in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Many of such officers are never known to the general public, while a few are never forgotten by the islanders.

One such IAS is Mr. D. Manikandan, presently serving as the Joint Secretary, Home in the Tamil Nadu Government. The officer has come as a blessing in disguise for the stranded patients in the GB Pant Hospital of Andaman Islands, who were pending for specialized treatment at Chennai.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu, the Government has been sceptical to allow people from other states inside Tamil Nadu, the reasons being quite but obvious. When the matter was brought to the notice of Mr. Manikandan, the officer understanding the gravity of the situation had convinced the Tamil Nadu government to allow the patients. Because of the efforts of Mr. Manikandan, four critically ill patients with four attenders could be airlifted on 11th May 2020 from Port Blair to Chennai, while one patient could not make it due to deteriorating health conditions, in the absence delayed specialized treatment. The patients are presently undergoing specialised treatment at the Chennai hospitals.

“Though there are restrictions by the Tamil Nadu government to avoid spreading of COVID-19, the government is proactive in allowing patients. I’m well aware that Andaman generally relies on Chennal for specialized treatments”, said the IAS officer, talking to Andaman Chronicle.

“Since I have served in the islands, I am aware of the difficulties faced by the islanders. When the matter was brought to my notice, I had to intervene and managed a safe passage of the patients”, said Manikandan. As far as my knowledge goes, governments are allowing critical cases irrespective of the zones, he said.

When Andaman Chronicle briefed the officer about hundreds of islanders stranded in Chennai and other places, eagerly waiting for their return to the islands, Manikandan said that he wasn’t aware of the details. The officer expressed that the Tamil Nadu government has designated Nodal Officer for such purposes. Stranded islanders should bring this to the notice of the designated Nodal Officer. They can visit the website of the Tamil Nadu government in which the contact details of the designated officer is available, said Mr Manikandan.

“We have been getting Tamil Nadu people stranded in other states by making special arrangements”, explained the officer. If there are sufficient numbers of stranded islanders, they may approach the designated officer, who is readily available for help, the officer adds.  

Meanwhile Mr. Manikandan also mentioned that the government has been allowing stranded people with absolute necessity like in cases of deaths of relatives and medical emergencies to travel from one state to another. While the government is considering the cases, it has also appealed to the stranded to wait for some more time, if there is no absolute necessity to travel at this time.

Mr. D. Manikandan, IAS has served in the Andaman & Nicobar Administration as the Secretary Health and Education before joining the Tamil Nadu government.

“Having served as the Secretary Health, I understand the genuine conditions of the critically ill patients of Andaman Islands. At present all the patients who were airlifted from Port Blair have safely landed in the hospitals and I’m personally monitoring their health”, added the officer.