Jolly writes to HM on ‘population influx’ in the Isles

Port Blair
3 Apr 2018

Mr. Vishal Jolly, state president, Bharatiya Janata Pary, A&N Islands in a recent letter to the Home Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh, has drawn his attention to the ‘unabated population influx and its destructive socio- economic impact on these islands’. He stated that eminent citizens here of the islands had met and decided to be a part of India after independence, proving their loyalty and patriotism towards our country. Thereafter the islands witnessed influx of people from East Pakistan, small businessmen, Government servants,  labourers etc. from various parts.
Population grew from 30971 in 1951 to 379944 in 2011 census which is projected at 623110 by 2020. It is a worrying sign as it may lead to insurgency related problems as in Sri Lanka and Assam. Unofficially it is whispered that Rohingyas too have entered the islands, which if true could be counterproductive to the peaceful atmosphere here. There is a scarcity of Potable Water, as even in monsoons the quota of 90 litres per person only (less than the Govt. Of India directive for 135 litres in rural areas) is supplied on alternative days, he said.
Electricity is also a big issue which puts a burden on the exchequer as it is diesel generated. Supply is limited but with population influx, it has become almost impossible to meet the demands which caused a lot of consternation recently because of frequent power failures. Post Tsunami, when development work was earmarked and carried out many unauthorised people migrated here in the garb of workforce. Mr. Jolly’s letter has enclosed all necessary documents, Supreme Court orders, Committees set up, answers by the A&N Administration which underlines the need for promulgation of ‘Inner Line Regulation’ prevalent in some North East States and Lakshadweep. It also mentions the tenth meeting of the Standing Committee of the Island Development Authority with mention of the Saldanah Committee which underlines the carrying capacity of the islands at 2 lakhs only. It also mentions petitions by Local Born Association, Settler’s Offspring Welfare Organisation Diglipur, Settlers Association Kadamtala, Andaman Moplah Service Organisation, Wimberlygunj and their woes at a joint meeting in 2002. Mr. Jolly in his letter request the Minister to consider the Draft Regulation sent by the then Chief Secretary vide DO No. 45-220/2004-Home dated 11.03.2004 in response to Ministry of Home Affairs’ letter no. U. 13034/73/2003-ANL dated 11.02.2004. On behalf of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Mr. Jolly has requested the Home Minister to take special interest to help these far flung, vulnerable islands only connected by one airport and one Seaport.