Hearing of Hon’ble High Court Fixed for 9th June Due to Poor Internet Connectivity  

Port Blair, June 2: Continuing the Writ Petition W.P. No. 5324(W) of 2020, the Andaman and Nicobar Bar Association led by its President, Shri Mohammed Tabraiz had pointed out before the Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta, Circuit Bench at Port Blair that the undersea cable operating from Chennai is ready for operation in segment 1. i.e. Port Blair to Diglipur and Segment 2 i.e. Havelock, whereas segments 2, 3, 4 and 5 would require some time. Inspite of segments 1 and 6 being ready for operation, the islanders are being deprived of the facility when the islanders need the most, particularly for online classes of the students, operation of Video Conference in Courts and medical purpose.

Hearing the appeal of the Bar Association, the Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta, Circuit Bench at Port Blair had ordered the Union of India and the UT administration of Andaman & Nicobar to place on record a statement by 1st June 2020.

In a communication to Andaman Chronicle, Shri Mohammed Tabraiz said that the hearing of the case could not take place today due to poor internet connectivity. The next hearing is scheduled for 9th June 2020, the President of the Bar Association added.

The Submarine Project Cell (SPC) of BSNL, New Delhi on 30th April 2020 had cleared that traffic can be put through using the S1 Segment of traffic testing and the period upto 1st July 2020 may be treated as TRIAL period and the official commissioning can be considered thereafter. This was communicated by the Corporate Cell to the Chief General Manager, BSNL, A&N Islands along with other concerned officials.

The Project Cell had also communicated that in the likelihood of Commissioning the Chennai – PB & PB – Havelock system earlier i.e. on 01.05.2020, it may be noted that in case any fault occurs (in the Wet Plant i.e. Submarine cable) during the intervening period before RFS date 1st July 2020, then M/s SEAIOCMA may charge approximate commercial rates for repair separately, which may be higher than the above mentioned rates since the same will not be covered under the agreement. The actual quota will have to be obtained as and when such a situation arises only. If there is no fault incidence, no such additional repair is involved.

In addition, the Submarine Project Cell also communicated that the Tripartite O&M agreement is yet to be signed before the commencement of Maintenance.

The Submarine Project Cell of BSNL though had given a green signal to the Chief General Manager, BSNL A&N Islands a month ago, it is astonishing to note that the BSNL A&N Islands never attempted to execute the project. Rather the CGM, Mr. Murali Krishna has been giving contradicting and misleading statements in his interview in Door Darshan Kendra and other media. The CGM also went upto express that students may utilize odd hours for studies since the traffic is low during odd hours. To add to it, the CGM also stated that the islanders may be able to enjoy the 4G services in the next six months.

It is also surprising to note that the BSNL A&N Islands tried to utilize the recent AMPHAN Cyclone as a reason for its poor services to the islanders.

A month has already passed after the Submarine Project Cell had given its nod. With the kind of apathetic approach of BSNL A&N Islands under its Chief General Manager, Mr. Murali Krishna, the dream of high speed internet still seems to be a distant dream for the islanders.