Administration Owned Ships Should Be Exclusively Earmarked for Islanders: Bishnu Pada Ray

Port Blair, May 2: Considering various complaints and grievances regarding shipping services in the islands, which has been projected before him from time to time, the Member of Parliament, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray has demanded that the Administration owned ships/ boats should be exclusively earmarked for the islanders.

Placing the demands of the islanders, the Member of Parliament in his letter to the Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G.K. Vasan explained that the A&N Islands consists of 336 islands out of which 36 islands are rehabilitated under various schemes by the Govt. of India. The only lifeline of transportation in the islands is boats/ ships operated by the Directorate of Shipping Services, A&N Administration, he said.

The boats & ships that ply between the islands is operated by the Directorate of Shipping Services utilizing huge subsidy by the Govt. of India and a major part of the sanctioned budget of A&N Islands is spent on shipping services, explained the MP.

Tourist flow in the islands is increasing day by day and tourists are being issued tickets for inter-island boats/ships by charging extra amount from them. This has resulted in rampant black marketing of ship tickets, which is flourishing under broad daylight in front of the A&N Administration and the concerned authorities have become deaf, blind and dumb in the matter.  

Explaining the situation to the Minister, Bishnu Pada Ray demanded that the private boats/ ships plying in the inter-island sector should be exclusively earmarked for tourists and the boats/ships owned by the A&N Administration should be earmarked for the islands’ inhabitants. He also demanded check on the black marketing of ship tickets and said that power generators should be installed in the ticketing counters for uninterrupted issue of tickets.