Andaman & Nicobar Administration Joins the Battle Expressing its Concerns for the Stranded

Port Blair, May 22: After the letter battle and competition of the political parties and trade unions on transportation of the stranded did not yield results, the Andaman & Nicobar Administration has come up with a release now stating that it is making all out efforts to transport the stranded personnel by the fastest means available. It is astonishing that the same Andaman & Nicobar administration which was not decided on whether to transport the stranded before or after the lockdown, now announces its concern for the stranded. The kind of approach of the authorities in the A&N Administration has only proved that they are no less when it comes to the competition of becoming the messiah for the stranded. 

“The endeavour of the A&N Administration has always been to ensure earliest evacuation of stranded personnel by the fastest means available. The A&N Administration has been constantly interacting with concerned authorities in the GOI during last three weeks and will continue to pursue these efforts vigorously, said the Directorate of Shipping Services in a communication to the Administration’s mouthpiece ‘The Daily Telegrams’. The release was as per the tweet of the Chief Secretary, Chetan B Sanghi, IAS which read, “Sailings for Chennai/ Port Blair & vice versa being finalised for stranded. Permission from TN received. Kolkata / PB after the cyclone. Press release in the evening with details”.

The Administration’s mouthpiece quoting the release stated, “The Government of India/ MHA had issued guidelines for transportation of stranded personnel at different States/ UTs across the country vide MHA Letter No 40-10/2020-DM-I(A) dt. 03.05.32020. These  guidelines, however were focussed on the Mainland by Road. Due to the uniquelocation of the Islands, the A&N Administration had taken up a case with the MHA to allow transportation of stranded personnel by Air, being the fastest mode and the same was being followed up regularly with the GOI for the last three weeks. The approval from the Government of India in this regard however has not been received yet, said a press release from the Directorate of Shipping”.

“Considering the difficulties of stranded personnel and the GOI approval for the Air transportation not being available yet, the A&N Administration further requested the MHA for permitting transportation of stranded personnel to and from A&N Islands by ships. This approval is also awaited and may be received in due course of time. On accord of GOI approval, special sailings will be scheduled to and from mainland at the earliest, the communication stated”.

“The ships of the Directorate are ready in all respects and standby for undertaking the transportation. The firm dates of the sailings will be announced as soon as the approval of GOI is received. Adequate time will be given for passengers to reach the Port of departure from their present locations”.

“Keeping in view the latest announcements of GOI, to allow operation of Domestic w.e.f 25th May 2020, the A&N Administration shall make all out efforts, to avail this facility for speedy transportation of stranded passengers to and from A&N Islands”.

“Detailed SOP/ Guidelines for domestic air travel are also likely to be available soon from the GOI, which shall be disseminated well in time and are to be strictly complied with by all passengers. Priority for transportation shall be given to patients, students and other personnel in distress in accordance with the MHA guidelines”, added the Administration’s mouthpiece.