Administration committed for the welfare of people of remote Islands and rural areas: LG




Hut Bay, Dec. 19: The Lt Governor, Lt Gen (Retd) Bhopinder Singh, PVSM, AVSM today launched the five-day Bharat Nirman Public Information Campaign (PIC) at Govt. Model SS School, Hut Bay in Little Andaman in presence of the First Lady of the Islands, Smt Bhawanee Singh. The Lt Governor also visited the stalls and appreciated that important information pertaining to various welfare schemes implemented for the benefit of the people have been displayed in the stalls. The campaign has been organized by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) in association with the A&N Administration and Central Media Units with an aim to make people aware of various schemes of the Central and State government, being implemented in the Islands. About 35 departments and government and non-government agencies have put-up their stalls at the venue.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion, the Lt Governor expressed happiness that the Bharat Nirman Public Information Campaign have been organized for the first time in Little Andaman which aims at changing the face of rural villages so as to improve the quality of life of the people living in rural areas by improving the infrastructure facilities and generating employment avenues.

He further stated that after the tsunami tragedy, the Administration focussed on rehabilitating the tsunami affected people by constructing permanent houses and rebuilding a more robust infrastructure. The disaster management preparedness was upgraded to meet any disaster like situation and upgrading of the security infrastructure is continuing through police, forest and defence organisations by equipping them with modern and high speed boats to improve the coastal security, he said.

In the rural development sector during the last five years, an amount of Rs 450 crore was provided to PRIs as grant-in-aid for augmenting the infrastructure and other services to improve the quality of life in rural areas. 140 Kms of new roads were constructed and 19 Kms pipeline were laid besides constructing 15 Panchayat Bhawans and 89 Community assets. MGNREGA scheme is being successfully implemented and under Indira Awas Yojna, 770 houses were constructed, 319 Self-Help Groups and 857 individual swarojgaris were assisted under SGSY Scheme. 931 elected representatives were sponsored for training in different fields so that they can implement the vision of changing the face of rural areas. 

Describing fishing and tourism industry as the two vital sectors being given special attention to generate income for the local people, he stated that there has been continuous increase of tourist inflow into the islands.  “Our emphasis is to convert the islands as best eco-friendly destination in the world and to fully utilise the fishing potential”, he said. 

The Lt Governor further stated that the public distribution system is also being streamlined for providing direct cash subsidy to the beneficiaries. In order to improve the island to island connectivity, 10 new vessels were inducted during last five year plan and 10 newly constructed pontoons were deployed. Various development initiatives resulted in providing permanent government employment to about 6000 persons and the administration is committed to create job opportunities by self help schemes, skill development programmes and for reserving jobs for the local children in projects under PPP mode. 

Referring to the Prashasan Aapke Dwar initiatives launched by the District Administration by holding camps in the rural areas, he stated “our ultimate aim is to provide delivery of services to the door steps of our people. 10 Common Service Centres were initially set up in the urban areas and 12 in rural areas of South Andaman District and by August 2013, we will cover both the remaining districts”. This will get further impetus when the submarine optical fibre cable project is completed to provide good bandwidth. This project will solve all our communication problems particularly of remote islands and will pave way for establishment of IT Industries for generating employment for our youth, he said.

In his introductory address, the Nodal Officer (PIB), Shri A. Dhanasekaran stated that during the 5-day campaign, various activities such as farmers meet, fishermen meet, awareness programmes, health camps, rallies etc. will be organized.

Earlier, welcoming the chief guest and others, the Director (IP&T), Shri Amit Satija stated that Bharat Nirman Public Information Campaign is organized for the first time in Little Andaman, which will enlighten the people on various flagship programmes of the government implemented for the benefit of the rural population. The function concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by the Pramukh, Panchayat Samiti, Little Andaman, Smt Namita Mistry.