The Editor, Andaman Chronicle
Your news item “IRBn men break convoy rules to interact and mingle with Jarawa girls” is a routine affair. I traveled by STS bus to Rangat the very next day of the incident. During the mandatory stop at Jirkatang, a group of regular commuters were discussing the incident over a cup of tea. I learnt JPP two wheeler pilot (read police) on his motorcycle led the convoy at walking speed that day (12/05/2011). To add insult to the injury, the two wheeler pilot even stopped his motorcycle midway to further delay the convoy. Starting at 0630 am from Jirkatang, the convoy reached Middle Strait at 0820 am taking 1 hr 50 min to cover the distance of 50 Km. Meaning the convoy proceeded at an average speed of 27 kmph against the stipulated speed of 40 kmph.
The next day (13/05/2011) when I traveled, our convoy took 1 hr 45 min to reach Middle Strait, at an average speed of 28 kmph. At few places the convoy proceeded at walking speed, tempting enough to get down, attend natures call and board the bus once again. Though all of us in the Bambooflat express were islanders traveling for bonafide reasons, none of us got down, but what the tourists were doing while the convoy was progressing at walking speed through the Jarawa reserve, perhaps I do not want to hazard a guess. But what I saw during my return trip on 15/05/2011, was far more horrible. If such scenes are reported, it may not go well with the so called guardians of the tribals. Moreover the matter is relating to Jarawas and everything relating to Jarawas is sacrosanct.
Those officials, who rose to the occasion, took the unconventional step of reporting the facts deserve praise. Our country men ought to know “who” is doing “what” to “whom” in the ATR in the cover of convoy. Novel tactics are being applied to harass the general public in the name of convoy, whereas the elite few, enjoy free ride in the ATR through tribal reserve. I thank Andaman Chronicle for placing the matter in the public domain.

Debkumar Bhadra
Shore Point, Bambooflat, S Andaman-744107

Very impressive move by Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, President Pradesh Congress Committee on the serious matter of non-availibility of LTC quota tickets/airfares. 
It has been a common practice for Air India and previously Indian Airlines not issuing NOC to government servants, when such LTC fares are not available.
Rather the staffs have been seen, saying the passengers or the govt. servants, that they will issue NOC only if they purchased Tickets on higher rates from Air India only.
Why are they doing such unlawful practices being govt. employee themselves? When LTC quota ticket is not available and if a passenger is getting lesser fare in Private airlines, why is the need to buy high fare ticket from Air India? And why Air India staffs do not issue NOC, so that the govt employee can buy Cheaper fare ticket in any other airline, if entitled to do so?

ActiveIndian (Fighting Against Corruption in Andaman)

Once again I am forced to write regarding the Extreme High Airfares between Port Blair-Kolkata-Port Blair and Port Blair-Chennai-Port Blair. It is not understandable, why there is no protest or appraoch by the local resident of these islands regarding this matter. The airfares are out of reach of a common middle class person and at times for the government servants. Its very disturbing to see that for a 2hrs journey, all the airlines are charging minimum fare of 6900 and higher whereas for the same amount of journey time from Chennai to Delhi/Kolkata, the fare ranges from 3100-7000 max in AirIndia, Kingfisher, Jetairways apart from Spicejet, Indigo, Go-Air etc.
Just because Andaman is a tourist sector, Airlines do not have to right to charge so much higher fares. The problem is actually that there is not much awakening among the people of Andaman. The reason behind this can be explained as , say a person wants to travel on April/May and he is going to purchase the ticket somewhere during April starting. He will probably get fare of 9000 or above which may not be affordable for him. He will then approach respective Airline’s office who will promise to provide them a waiting list ticket in a fare around 6500 or 7000 as per market condition. If he is not satisfied then he will approach big IATA agents, who will promise the person arrange either a lesser fare ticket or the IATA will tell the person that he will send the person on some other passengers name as he has got the advantage if being IATA or having a good connections at the Airport. So the common people gets involved in malpractices along with these IATA’s and since he got this kind of help , it does not matter to him even if there is higher fares prevailing. he will just keep his mouth shut...I know few persons who travelled on low fare cancelled tickets on the name of other passengers. See corruption is everywhere. 
Coming back to the main point, its high time that our Administration and respectable M.P should take steps forward and talk to the Aviation Ministry and Chiefs of All the airlines operating in our sector to bring down the airfares and sell fares in the affordable range of atleast min 4000-7000 max. And also the IATA’s must be put under serious scanner for doing fraudulent things as they surely have more administrative privileges and access to the airlines systems and can do anything they may want to.
Also the Public must approach Honbl’e LG and the Secretary to put forward this issue.

Even a Labour working for on salary of Rs. 3000, a Govt. servant working on a salary of Rs.7000-30000 or a patient needing for an emergency treatment would know about the fact that Airfares between Port Blair and Mainland (Chennai or Kolkata) are out of range these days, be it peak season or off-season.
The respectable Leaders and Our Administration have been giving the statements that they were writing to the concerned Ministries about the higher airfares prevailing in Andaman sector but everthing seems to have gone in Vain and who knows how much effort has actually been put into aggressive action.
All the Airlines specially AirIndia and others operating in this sector like Jet and Kingfisher are going on increasing the airfares for this sector. 
Individuals are writing, Some politicians and NGO’s are writing but it’s time for them to come under one-roof and approach jointly with a HANDSHAKE-PROTOCOL and talk directly to the Aviation Ministry as well as Chief’s of All Airlines regarding the Airfare problem. Else nothing will be achieved. All efforts will go in vain.
Active Indian
Port Blair

Dear Sir,

Apropos your news item : “Smoking in public places to be strictly banned from April 1st” I pledge my whole heartedly support for the cause. Though the ban is yet to be implemented strictly but positive results are visible already. Very few people now smoke in public places, which mean people are aware, vigorous campaign at this juncture would definitely bring desired results.

I take this opportunity to call upon the Director Health Services to initiate steps towards banning non-smokable tobacco, i.e. Zarda, Sukka, Gutka and their likes also. Peoples of almost all ages and sexes are seen chewing and spitting at public places without care a damn. The govt. is forced to spend crores of rupees on treating symptoms arising out of consuming tobacco in one or the other form. It is a menace among islanders and needs to be tackled. Sooner the better!

I am sure, the Govt. if decides, as has been done against Smoking, ban on consumption of non-smokable tobacco (Zarda, Sukka, Gutka) could also be implemented simultaneously. The benefits would be immense.

Debkumar Bhadra
Shore Point, Bambooflat, S Andaman