Andaman’s Lone MP Kuldeep Rai Sharma Conferred with Prestigious "Sansad Ratna Award 2022” for His Outstanding Performance in the Parliament

Port Blair, March 27: Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Member of Parliament, Andaman & Nicobar Islands has been awarded the prestigious "Sansad Ratna Award 2022” in New Delhi on 26th of March 2022 along with other eight MPs for outstanding performance in the Parliament. The award was given by Hon’ble Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Sushil Chandra in presence of Hon’ble Minister of State, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal.

Sharma was given the award for his performance in 17th Lok Sabha from September 2019 to winter session 2021. He had participated in 688 debates and had raised 388 numbers of questions including 3 private members bill in the Parliament. Kuldeep Rai Sharma had raised many issues concerning Andaman & Nicobar Islands in the Parliament such as:

Filling up of all government vacancies in Andaman & Nicobar Administration which is around 10000 (ten thousand) in numbers and preference to be given to Islanders in such vacancies by stopping the process of online recruitment for government jobs in Andaman & Nicobar Islands from Mainland.

To regularize the services of all daily rated mazdoors working under the Andaman & Nicobar Administration.

Increasing the salary and honorarium of Anganwadi and ASHA workers in Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Need to tackle unemployment in Andaman & Nicobar Islands and to provide unemployment allowance.

Increasing the budget of Andaman & Nicobar Islands from 5300 crore to 10000 crore to develop infrastructure.

To provide land to all the landless islanders, to regularize excess land of all left out cases of pre-1961, to regularize all encroachments before 2012 and Establishing of Women Commission for Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Need for Resettlement and Rehabilitation of Katchan Tamil settlers.

Need to provide adequate compensation and return the land to victims of 2004 Tsunami in Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Need to increase the pension of old age widow and Divyang from rupees 2500 to 5000 per month to fulfill their basic needs.

Need to establish a Legislative Assembly for Andaman & Nicobar Islands on the lines of Delhi and Puducherry.

To solve the water problem, early completion of Rutland and Flat Bay projects.

To start PG courses in Medical Colleges of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

To start Air Ambulance facilities for Inter-Island Patients.

To provide ultrasound machines in all PHCs, to provide Dialysis facility in all CHCs, to start Cath Lab & Trauma Center at GB Pant Hospital.

Demand for AIIMS in Andaman: Since A&N Islands are remote there is a lack of health facilities. For any major ailments people are forced to go to Chennai or Kolkata, which is very expensive. Considering these conditions, Kuldeep demanded that under the Pradhan Mantri Swashth Suraksha Yojana Govt. should open one AIIMS in A&N Islands. Apart from serving the poor people this AIIMS can also generate funds by catering to the patients of South Eastern Countries.

To open full-fledged Operation Theatre at Diglipur, Mayabunder, Billiground, Rangat, Little Andaman, Nicobar, Nancowry and Campbell Bay.

Demand for one Mobile Operation Theatre.

Defense Air Craft be allowed to carry patients to Chennai/ Kolkata.

Promotion of fisheries in Andaman & Nicobar Islands by providing incentives and investment for developing processing infrastructure.

There is vast potential in the Andaman Sea in the fisheries sector with an estimated potential of 1.48 lakh MT of fishes which is 3.8 percent of the country's total fish potential. Sharma demanded that the Government of India and Department of Fisheries should chalk out a comprehensive policy, which focuses on promoting investment in this sector through policy incentives and promoting exports. The development of fisheries in Andaman & Nicobar Islands will generate large scale employment both direct and indirect along with contributing to the Island’s economy. The islands have one third of the coastal area of the country.

The Government should promote deep sea fishing, should establish fish processing units, cold storages, ice plants and construct more fish landing Jetties. Also provide Air transportation for export of the fishes to South East Asian countries.

Need to have Shipbuilding/Ship Repairing yard in Andaman & Nicobar Islands to generate employment.

Sharma also demanded for Ship building and ship repairing dry dock at Shore Point and Campbell Bay for bigger vessels. These two major dry docks should be developed as in the Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok model. Major dry docks will enable better business and employment opportunities for the Islanders. This will also benefit the Indian Navy as they have a big fleet of ships.  Sharma also demanded for a boat building yard at Long Island.

Need to generate employment through Information Technology Infrastructure and BPO or Call Centers in Andaman & Nicobar Islands along with laying of second OFC cable between Diglipur and Digha. Sharma demanded that in order to address the widespread unemployment in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, there is a need to create IT Enabled Services (ITeS). In order to promote service sector export, the government should establish BPO and IT industry in A&N Islands, which has an advantage due to its strategic location and proximity to South East Asian countries. In FY2022, the top three Indian IT companies, TCS, Wipro and Infosys, are expected to offer 1.05 lakh job opportunities, due to the increasing demand for talent and skill. India’s IT and business services market is projected to reach USD 19.93 billion by 2025. IT spending in India is estimated to reach USD 98.5 billion in 2022. Keeping these upcoming opportunities in mind, the setting up of the IT industry in the Islands will lead to job opportunities for the youths of Islands and will also lead to the economic development of my Parliamentary constituency.

Need to promote tourism through Marine, Adventure, Culinary, Eco, World War II Tourism and Cultural Tourism along with establishment of Freedom Struggle Tourism at various places in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. To promote Sustainable and Eco-Friendly projects in Tourism sector. Tourism sector has been recognized by the A & N Administration as the 'Sun Rise' sector with tremendous opportunities for the private sector to come in. Sharma requested the government to promote Sustainable and Eco-Friendly projects in the Tourism sector that can be the keystone for the development of the Islands as it has almost limitless potential. Promoting tourism by connecting the islands with South Asian countries will solve the unemployment issue and the economy of the Islands can also be increased manifold.

Need for establishing a Central university in Andaman & Nicobar Islands instead of Deemed University. Establishing a fisheries college in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Establishing a women college. Need to create sports infrastructure relating to Football, Cricket, cycling, rowing, swimming and athletics along with a sports academy in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Early start of PG Courses in ANIIMS.

To introduce Udaan Scheme in the Islands: Andaman & Nicobar Islands have immense tourism potential and in order to exploit it there is a need to develop better aviation facilities such as connectivity with other parts of India through more routes from Andaman & Nicobar Islands under Udaan Scheme to enable Islanders to get air tickets at cheaper rates for their respective destinations.

To provide air subsidy to the islanders as in the case of North East: The citizens of Andaman & Nicobar Islands have limited connectivity to other states due to its remote location and absence of any other mode of commutation except air and ship travel. In tourist season and due to limited flights there have been instances of extremely high air fare which burden the people including patients, students, businessmen and common Islanders. Sharma demanded air subsidy to islanders on the lines of north east.

To introduce Mini Aircraft : For facilitating better inter-islands travel, Sharma requested the Minister to start mini aircraft from Port Blair to Diglipur, Port Blair to Car Nicobar and Port Blair to Campbell Bay and vice versa for the convenience of the Islanders and also to promote tourism.

Immediately start International flights to South East countries: Shri Sharma requested the Government to start international flights from Port Blair to South East Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Maldives and Mauritius due to proximity with these nations under the International UDAN scheme. The operationalization of these flights will promote and boost tourism industry in the Islands and act as a catalyst in economic development of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, which has been adversely affected due to covid.

Direct Flights to Madurai, Kochi & Ranchi from Port Blair & vice- versa: Andaman & Nicobar Islands has a heterogeneous population including Tamil, Malayalam and North Indian population. In order to provide better connectivity, Sharma requested that direct flights from Port Blair to Madurai, Port Blair to Kochi and Port Blair to Ranchi be started.

Start Night flight from Port Blair: Sharma requested that for the benefit of the Islanders and to promote tourism, night flights be started from Port Blair to other parts of the country.

To introduce Seaplane: Sharma demanded the introduction of seaplanes for promotion of tourism and also to benefit the islanders.

Rural industries based on handicrafts, coir processing, wooden, bamboo, cane and fish pickles: Unemployment is one of the major factors in the social structure of A&N Islands. Hence to improve the scenario, the Handicraft Industry can play a major role in eradication of unemployment.  It has been estimated that around 500 artisans are involved in handicraft oriented work in the A & N Islands, but they face major difficulties in Marketing their products & Transportation problems. Sharma requested the Government to frame a policy for upliftment of handicraft industry and also provide a market for it.

Chatham Bambooflat Bridge: DPR is being prepared for a bridge worth Rs. 2,000 Cr to connect Chatham Island and Bambooflat Island. The ground works for the proposed Chatham- Bambooflat Bridge, which was on halt since the last two years, has now resumed, bringing fresh hopes for the Islanders. NHIDCL further added that the COVID-19 pandemic has also affected the progress of DPR preparation.

NHIDCL has stated that DPR preparation has been paced up immediately after receiving NoC from the Indian Navy and that NHIDCL is making all efforts to finalize the DPR for necessary sanction from MoRTH. Sharma requested the Government to speed up the construction of this bridge which has been delayed.

Bridge from Minnibay to Mithakhari: Shri Sharma requested the Minister to approve and speed up the work for construction of Bridge between Minnie Bay and Mithakhari in Andaman & Nicobar Islands for promoting tourism and connectivity.

Middle Strait Creek Bridge: Middle Strait Creek Bridge for Rs 262.97 crore was also sanctioned in 2017 and the construction has still not been completed. Sharma demanded speedy construction of the said bridge.

Construction of Alternate Highway along the coastal line: Andaman & Nicobar Islands has immense tourism potential and being an island territory there are limited modes of connectivity within the Islands. Sharma requested the Minister to consider construction of an alternate coastal highway between Port Blair and Diglipur along the coastal line, which will further contribute to the development of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Construction of New NH from Port Blair to Diglipur via the coastal line and also Construction of Sea-Wall at Nicobar.

Sharma also demanded to stop privatization of the electricity department in the Parliament.