Port Blair, Jan 23: CITU has demanded additional buses and ferry services for the passengers of Port Blair and South Andaman areas. In a letter sent to the Chief Secretary, Andaman and Nicobar Administration, B. Chandrachoodan, General Secretary of the CITU, A & N State Committee said that after revised SOP has come into force from 11th January, 2022, the passengers in the public transport services at Port Blair and South Andaman areas and ferry services between Chatham  and Bambooflat sector are facing hardship to avail the bus services and ferry services.  Only 50% passengers are accommodated in the buses and ferry boats. 

While the restrictions in the buses and ferry boats are resorted to due to the rising Covid cases, there is no increase in the number of buses to accommodate the remaining passengers.  Chandrachoodan told the Chief Secretary that there is no decline in the number of passengers as the government offices, work places, etc. are functioning with full attendance and the teachers are attending the schools even though the classes of students have been suspended. 

He further said that in every bus stop including the busy Chatham jetty, the entire passengers waiting for the buses are not accommodated and a number of passengers are left behind, to take chance for the next bus.  Similarly, in the Chatham/ Bambooflat jetties, there are long queues of two wheelers and passengers to board the ferry and only 50% of the total capacity is accommodated.  CITU suggested that the problem can be solved if more buses and ferry boats are deployed. 

Chandrachoodan requested the Chief Secretary to instruct the authorities in the Shipping and Transport departments to deploy sufficient buses in Port Blair/South Andaman areas and ferry boats between Chatham-Bambooflat sector so that all the passengers can be accommodated in the buses and boats which will ensure timely attendance of government employees and workers in offices and workplaces including schools.