Crisis in Carnic continues, DC assures normalcy soon

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
28 May 2017

Shortage of essential commodities, lack of passenger and cargo ships has brought the headquarter region of the Nicobar District to a grinding halt. Recent angry demonstrations in different parts of Car Nicobar have failed to garner any respite for the population. The district administration, however, claims to have initiated measures to restore normalcy in the region.
The headquarter region of the Nicobar district has remained complete devoid of passenger and cargo vessel service since the 28th of last month as a result of which commuters in the region are forced to face countless hardships. Essential commodities, fuel etc too have almost vanished from the markets and the present weather conditions have worsened the situation for the remote residents. “Despite assurances, the administration has failed miserably to ensure adequate supply of essential commodities, fuel etc to Car Nicobar. For complete lack of passenger vessels, passengers are forced to avail ship services from Kamorta to proceed to Port Blair after utilizing the speed boats service here. The indifferent attitude of  the administration is taking a serious toll on the remote residents,” said a government employee posted at Car Nicobar. “Essential commodities like rice, dal, potatoes, onions etc have also exhausted from the markets here. The region is even running short of fuel and LPG refills. Shortage of HSD has set off unrelenting power-cuts here for the past few days. Telecom services also remain erratic due to the power-cuts in the region.  The local administration should initiate necessary steps to provide respite to the remote residents here from the recurring problem,” said another.
Lack of direct ships is the only reason for the crisis in Car Nicobar. The administration is, however, taking necessary steps to restore normalcy in the region, said the Deputy Commissioner of Nicobar, Neha Bansal.  “The Chief Secretary is personally monitoring the situation closely. Helicopter and Dornier services are being provided to ferry passengers. The demand for helicopter tickets soared to 60-70 a few days ago, but presently the numbers have declined. Based on demand, additional helicopter services are being  provided. For people who cannot afford air travel, the district administration has made necessary arrangements to ferry them to Kamorta via speed boats from where they travel to Campbell Bay or Port Blair,” she informed.
Admitting shortage of essential commodities, the Deputy Commissioner claimed that the situation is under control. “Supply of commodities, fuel etc is a major concern here. But on every scheduled sailing to Kamorta, the administration rushes supply to Car Nicobar, but still the problem persists. Due to delay in the last sailing of MV Campbell Bay, some portion of the consignment containing vegetables and other essential commodities turned stale. The administration, however, is leaving no stone unturned to restore normalcy in the region,” she added.