Design flaws render Hati Tapu jetty unusable

Report by: 
19 Sep 2018

Constructed a decade ago to facilitate quick transportation of passengers and commodities from remote villages of South Andaman to Port Blair, the Hati Tapu jetty under the jurisdiction of Namunaghar Panchayat in South Andaman is lying unused for the last many years. Since construction of the jetty, not a single boat has berthed at the Jetty leaving residents of remote villages of Hati Tapu, Mulla Pahar, Ranchi Basti, Shaitankhari, Bijan and Macchi Basti incensed and dejected. The joy of the residents of these areas did not last long when it was revealed that due to design flaws in the jetty, operation of boats services have been totally stopped.
Before the 2004 tsunami calamity, boat services from the Hati Tapu to Junglighat jetty was operated on regular basis and the ferry services was the most reliable mode of transportation for the residents of remote villages of South Andaman to reach the capital city of Port Blair. The sea route was considered more comfortable, economical and fast as compared to the road route. Beside travel purpose, the main reason for construction of Hati Tapu jetty was to facilitate fishing activities of those fishers shifted from Aberdeen Jetty by the erstwhile regime. Boat services used to be an uninterrupted services in this route, but the catastrophic tsunami changed the entire matrix of the shipping department as they had to make changes in certain route due to shortage boats. Hati Tapu route was among the unfortunate ones.
The closure of boat services in this route, which was catering to the transportation requirements of about six nearby villages have not gone well with the residents and for long the villagers have been running from pillar to post to get their the boats services operational. Finally paying heeds to the demand of the residents of these villages, the Department of Shipping gave the final nod for the construction of the Hati Tapu jetty, giving the much relief to the residents. But to their dismay, despite spending huge taxpayers’ money, the jetty is lying unused for the past more than a decade. According to reports, the height of the jetty is above the water level, causing difficulties for the ferry boats to berth at the jetty. At the time of berthing, passengers had to face difficulties boarding and de-boarding the boats.
“Non-operation of the boat services from Hati Tapu has left no option for the residents of the remote villages, but to take the road route to reach Port Blair. Going the road route not only takes considerable time and energy, but commuters are forced to dole out huge money from their pockets. Furious villagers are upset over the fact that despite a lapse of over a decade, the authorities concerned have taken no steps to undertake necessary renovation of the Jetty to rectify the flaws and put it into operation. Mithakhari jetty is another facility which has met the same fate. Boat services from Mithakhari to Junglighat Jetty used by hundreds of villagers have also been stopped for reasons best known to the authorities,” said some enraged villagers.