ANI celebrates 72nd Independence Day with patriotic zeal

Isles on path of rapid progress, social development: LG
Report by: 
Port Blair
16 Aug 2018

The 72nd Independence Day was celebrated in a befitting manner in the Islands too together with the rest of the country. The main function for the flag hoisting ceremony was held in the historic Netaji Stadium here yesterday in which the Lt. Governor, A&N Islands, Admiral DK Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.) hoisted the National Flag as the chief guest. He inspected the Guard of Honour comprising of different contingents from Defence, A&N Police, senior and junior division NCC cadets and the Scouts and Guides of various schools. The Lt. Governor also gave away President’s Police Medal to a recipient and Lt. Governor’s Commendation Certificates to 9 persons for their exemplary performances. 
Addressing the islanders, the Lt. Governor at the outset greeted the Islanders on the occasion of Independence Day. He also recalled the contribution of the freedom fighters who made supreme sacrifice for the cause of the motherland and paid his obeisance to those men and women, who, braving all odds, made the supreme sacrifices for protecting our Country.
The Lt. Governor stated that in the recent years, these Islands have made rapid progress towards creation of basic infrastructure facilities and economic & social development. Giving information about the achievements made and the development projects under progress, the Lt. Governor said that the Central Govt., keeping in mind the special requirements for the development of these Isles, constituted the Island Development Agency (IDA). Major developmental projects will be executed with the cooperation of NITI Aayog in sectors like tourism and infrastructure development in these Isles in the coming days. Accordingly, four ready to launch PPP Projects have been selected for developing Long, Smith, Aves and Neil Islands for which an Investors’ meet was organized in New Delhi on August 10, 2018.
The Lt Governor further stated that the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, during his recent visit to Indonesia, has discussed about direct trade, increasing the possibilities of mutual economic growth between India and Indonesia. To further encourage people-to-people and B2B contacts, a 10 member delegation from A&N Administration and ACCI visited Aceh and North Sumatra recently. Owing to the ‘gateway to ASEAN / East initiative’, trade prospects have also increased, the Lt. Governor said.
The Lt Governor said, to improve connectivity in these Islands, the work for laying Under Sea Cable has been awarded during May, 2018, which is expected to be completed in 24 months’ time. Efforts are also on to upgrade the available bandwidth to 2 Gbps by September and 2.7 Gbps by December, 2018, he said.
The Lt. Governor stated that under the road and bridge sector, the construction of two bridges on National Highway- 4 is progressing well. The completion of the bridges and the widening of roads will provide better connectivity between Port Blair and North & Middle Andaman, facilitating the journeys for the tourists and Islanders besides easy movement of cargo as well.
Turning to the Shipping sector, the Lt Governor said that work for construction of two each 500-pax capacity vessels for Inter Island and 1200- pax capacity vessels for Mainland Island sector is under progress. The delivery of these vessels will commence from September 2019 and by March, 2020 all the ordered vessels will join the shipping fleet of the A&N Islands.
In the Civil Aviation sector, the Lt Governor stated that considering the increasing passenger and cargo movement in A&N Islands, the construction of the New Airport Terminal building by the Govt. of India is progressing well. Administration is also committed towards starting flight services from Port Blair to Carnicobar, Campbell-Bay and Shibpur (Diglipur), the Lt Governor added.
The A&N Administration is focused on providing better health care facilities to the Islanders. 10 ‘Health Wellness Centers’ will be established in each District. Our Islands’ ranks first among all UTs in implementation of the ‘Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana’, the Lt Governor added.
The Lt. Governor said, literacy rate of A&N Islands is 86.63% which is much better than the national average. Administration is paying more attention to providing quality education to the students as well as skill development. A new Polytechnic has been made functional from this month in Diglipur while the construction of the new ITI building at Arong, Carnicobar will be completed by December, 2018. ‘Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana’ will be implemented in these Islands from next month with a target to enroll/train 4108 aspirants by the year 2020.
The Administration is making best efforts to help the weaker section of the society in overcoming their social & economic problems, the Lt Governor said. As part of it, under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme, for the first time in these Islands, a State Adoption Resource Agency and Special Adoption Agencies have been established. For the benefit of the children, ‘Juvenile Justice Fund’ has also been instituted, he said.
The Lt. Governor informed that ‘Gram Swaraj Abhiyan’ camps were organized in every Gram Panchayat from April 14 to May 5, 2018, under which door to door campaigns were carried out informing the masses about the welfare schemes launched by the Govt. There has been 100% implementation of the Schemes of the Central Govt. in A&N Islands.
As many as 13,500 conventional street lights in Port Blair city have been replaced with LED lights while this work is under progress in rural areas. The Administration has also submitted a proposal to the Central Govt. for establishment of ‘Sewage System’ in Port Blair city.
In the power sector, the Lt Governor said, power supply in South Andaman area has improved with the commissioning of 5MW DG Power Plant on April 1, 2018. Apart from this, the 10MW DG Power Plant for South Andaman will start functioning by the end of this month. With a view to encouraging use of green energy in the Isles, the Govt. of India has sanctioned the establishment of 45 MWp Solar Power Plant and 50 MW LNG based Power Plant in these Islands.
Pointing towards the sectors like fisheries, agriculture and tourism, the Lt Governor said, the Administration is giving special attention to high-value agriculture, organic farming, deep sea fishing and high end tourism. The tourists’ arrival to these Islands stood at 4.87 lakh during last year, and an increase of 20 percent has been witnessed in last few years. With the relaxation of Restricted Area Permit (RAP), these Islands will witness growth in the arrival of foreign tourists.
The Lt Governor informed that, a Modern Fish Market has been constructed and inaugurated at Junglighat last month for the benefit of the fishermen community, while the Modern Fish Market being constructed at Mohanpura will be completed by December, 2018. As part of the ‘Blue Revolution’ scheme of the Govt. of India, Isles’ fishers are being given subsidy for purchase of safety and communication gadgets such as GPS, Fish Finder, DAT etc.
To give the agri- sector a new dimension and to double the income of farmers’, the Administration has devised an Action Plan. As part of e- National Agriculture Market, out of the 31 vegetable markets, 8 will be connected through network while Neil Island will be marked as a ‘Vegetable Hub’. The Administration is giving more emphasis on organic farming. Under the traditional agriculture development scheme, efforts are on to establish these Islands as ‘Organic Hub’. Under the National Agriculture Development Scheme, ‘Bulk Milk Coolers’ are being established at Rangat, Dharmapur, Tugapur, Subhashgram and Neil Island. These Bulk Milk Coolers will increase the storage capacity, thus enabling ANIIDCO to collect milk in the evening as well.
The Lt Governor further said that electronic delivery of services is essential for good governance. As part of it, the Revenue Department has digitalized maximum services meant for the citizens. Now, these services are being provided to the general public digitally through CSCs, District and Tehsil offices spread all over the Islands.
The Lt. Governor informed that an immediate/speedy decision will be taken on the suggestions to increase the pay of the Anganwadi workers and assistants. Similar increase in the pay of ASHA workers are under active consideration. He further informed that the Administration will look into the suggestion for bringing changes in the ‘Hard Area Posting Tenure’ of the employees working in different parts of these Islands.
The Andaman Nicobar Command conducted MILAN-2018 befittingly in which Navies of 8 different Countries participated. Recently, two new modern technology warships (Landing Craft Utility) L-53 and L-54 & FDN-II have been inducted into Navy which are equipped with modern techniques and devices, said the Lt Governor, lauding the A&N Command for its support during emergency situations/disaster. Not only in relief and rescue operations but the ships of Navy and Coast Guard have done commendable job in providing assistance to the passenger ships, mid sea, when they faced technical snags.
The Lt. Governor sought the cooperation and support of the people in meeting the challenges and taking these Islands on the path of all round progress.
The Lt Governor congratulated the student contingents who participated in the Independence Day Parade and praised the recipients of the Commendation Certificate and expressed hope that they will continue to serve the Islanders with utmost dedication. He also gave away the ‘Jeevan Raksh Padak’ to Police Constable, A&N Police, Shri Gaius James.
The Lt. Governor thanked the members of the print & electronic media for highlighting the developmental activities of the Islands, besides bringing to the fore problems of the people. He also lauded the efforts of the Chief Secretary, under whose leadership, the A&N Administration has been performing as a committed team while under the leadership of DGP, the A&N Police has been instrumental in maintaining law and order in the Isles.
The Lt. Governor also thanked the Member of Parliament, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray for his continuous support. He also thanked the PBMC, Zila Parishad, the Chairperson and members of the Tribal Council and all the members of the three- tier Panchayati Raj Institutions for their persistent support in taking forward the development activities in these Islands. The Lt. Governor also thanked all the political parties for their support in the development process. The Lt. Governor appealed everyone to work dedicatedly for the overall development & betterment of the Islands.
Earlier, the Lt. Governor visited the National Memorial Cellular Jail and laid a wreath at the Martyr’s column to pay homage to the martyrs of the freedom movement.
Among others, the main function of the Independence Day celebrations at Netaji Stadium was attended by the Member of Parliament, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray, Smt. Rupa Ray, Commnader-in-Chief, A&N Command, Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, AVSM, ADC, Chief Secretary, A&N Administration Shri Chetan Bhushan Sanghi, DGP A&N Islands, Shri Dependra Pathak, Chairperson PBMC, Shri Indra Pal Singh, State President BJP, Shri Vishal Jolly, Senior Officers from the Defence and Civil Administration, Councilors of PBMC, PRI members, leaders of the Political Parties, prominent citizens and general public.
A 22 member team from Ex- Andaman Political Prisoners Fraternity Circle including 9 widows of freedom fighters also attended the main function of the Independence Day celebration at the Netaji Stadium.
The defence as well as DSS ships anchored near Ross Island were illuminated during evening, adding more color to the Independence Day celebrations.