Alleging neglect, villagers of SA Panchayats stage Chakka Jam at Ograbraj Jn

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
29 Jun 2017

Hundreds of villagers from atleast five Panchayats in South Andaman staged a massive protest at Ograbraj Junction demanding basic amenities. The Chakka Jam disrupted movement of normal traffic for several hours which was later called off after positive assurance from the district administration.
Speaking to EOI, one of the PRI members from the area said that a delegation from the region met the Chief Secretary around a month ago to place their demands which include immediate repairs of the national highway stretch, resumption of supply of PDS sugar and wheat, declaring Andaman and Nicobar Islands as organic territory and round the clock supply of electricity. “The Chief Secretary had then assured that the demands will be addressed on priority. But even after 20 days of the assurance, nothing practical has happened on ground forcing us to resort to protest for our demands,” said the PRI member.
According to reports, officials from the National Highway authority reached the spot at around 8.30 am assuring the agitators to commence the repair works within a period of two months. The demonstrators, however, were adamant on just 7 days for the road repair works. The Sub Divisional Magistrate of South Andaman, Mitali Goel intervened and ordered immediate repair works at Ograbraj. A written assurance was also reportedly provided to the agitators that a committee comprising PRI members, officials from the National Highway authority and the local administration will be constituted to ensure early redressal of the grievances of the villagers following which the agitation was called off.