Agitation called off after assurances from authorities

Major chakka jam cripples surface transport in North Andaman
Report by: 
Port Blair
12 Mar 2018

The chakka jam called by villagers of Rampur and Karmatang in North Andaman crippled road transport services on Monday. Held at Danapur Junction, the agitation was led by Up-Pradhan, Mr Anandraj, Sarpanch, Pariya, Pradhan Naw Sevia, ex-Pradhan of Rampur, Saw Thompson and social worker, Colostica. More than 300 villagers participate in the strike to press for basic facilities in the region. The blockade started at 4 am in the morning with protestors shouting slogans against the district administration, BSNL and cooking  gas distribution agency for their failure to provide essential services in the region. Daily commuters and long distance travellers were worst affected by the strike as all buses were stopped at Danapur Junction during the strike. The agitators, however, did not cause any hindrance to school students appearing for their annual examinations this season.
The protest that started with dawn continued till 9 am when the Executive Engineer of North Andaman Construction Division, APWD, Mr Jina Prakash, arrived at the spot to speak to the agitators. According to reports, the Secretary, Rural Development, Mr Udit Prakash Rai, spoke to Pradhan, Naw Sevia over phone assuring remedial measures soon. The villagers, however, remained firm on a written promise following which Mr Rai sent a text message to the NACD Executive Engineer stating that the road stretch from Danapur to Karmatang comes under state highway and directed him to take-over of the stretch under APWD for carrying out repair works by evening.  A copy of the message was produced before the agitators and the APWD EE assured to initiate repair works of the pot-hole laden stretch within two days. Mr Jina Prakash also assured to float tenders for renovation of the road stretch soon.
The Assistant Conservator of Forest, Mayabunder Division too assured villagers that permission for collection of minor forest produce like bamboo, balli, sea sand collection in the region will the issued by April this year. BSNL promised to take appropriate measures for providing dependable telecom services in the remote hamlets. The Consumer Cooperative Stores assured people in the region to deploy two truck-loads of cooking gas refills soon. Following assurances from the authorities concerned, the chakka jam was called off by the villagers.
Villagers in North Andaman particularly from Rampur and Karmatang have been suffering for battered road network, poor telecom services and irregular supply of LPG refills for the past several months. The notice to hold a road blockade at Danapur Junction today was served earlier this month to the authorities concerned.  Major demands of the villagers include repair of road network from Danapur Junction to Mahatma Gandhi Govt. College and from Mahatma Gandhi Govt. College to Karmatang-IX, consistent BSNL connectivity, timely distribution of cooking gas and permission for collection of minor forest produce in the region.