With progress in all spheres, ANI marching ahead towards development: LG

Impressive ceremony marks 71st Independence Day celebration
Report by: 
Port Blair
16 Aug 2017

The 71st Independence Day was celebrated in a befitting manner in the Islands together with the rest of the country. The main function was held in the historic Netaji Stadium here on Tuesday in which the Lt. Governor, A&N Islands, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi hoisted the National Tri-colour as the chief guest. The Lt Governor inspected the Guard of Honour comprising different contingents from Defence, A & N Police, India Reserved Battalion, 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 the recipients besides Lt. Governor’s Commendation Certificates to 10 persons and six institutions for their dedicated services.
Addressing the islanders, the Lt. Governor firstly remembered the freedom fighters and paid tributes to the Patriots and Martyrs, who have made supreme sacrifices for the freedom of the country.  He spoke about the history of the Viper Island and the Cellular Jail where the freedom fighters were incarcerated and tortured. He reminded the Islanders that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, for the very first time hoisted the National Tri- colour in the historic Gymkhana Stadium on December 30, 1943, declaring the Islands free from the foreign yoke.
The Lt. Governor hailed the implementation of GST by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, which, he said, is the most significant landmark decision towards improving the country’s economy, since Independence. The Lt. Governor stated that with the successful implementation of GST, one tax for the entire country has been implemented.  The GST, the Lt. Governor said, has led to transparency in the process of tax collection and has provided a corruption free environment to business establishments.         
Turning to the Health sector, the Lt. Governor stated that good result have been witnessed following the ban on consumption, production, sale and stocking of zarda and gutkha in the Islands, since October 2, 2016. He further mentioned that considering the ill-effects of alcoholism on the Islands’ society, a Prohibition Department has also come into effect since October 2, 2016, and to bring down the consumption of alcohol in the Islands, a New Excise Rule has been implemented w.e.f. January 2017.
          About the connectivity issue, the Lt. Governor informed that the tender for laying of Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) has been issued on July 7, 2017 and the work is likely to begin soon. The Rs. 1102.38 crore project will bring a sea change in the Information & Technology sector in the Islands, said the Lt. Governor mentioning that this will lead to implementation of the e-governance and digital India projects of the  Prime Minister of India.
The Administration has made a discernible progress in the education front. The overall percentage of the AISSCE-2017 in Isles stood at 78.58 percent witnessing an increase of 6.98 percent compared to last year. Similarly, the overall percentage of class 10th exam stood at 99.20 percent. It’s a matter of pride for all us that 77 schools secured 100 percent results in the class 10th exam-2017 while 13 students of Govt Schools achieved 10 point CGPA in this exam, the Lt Governor added.
The Lt. Governor also mentioned that under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, LPG is given free of cost to the women head of a family of BPL category. So far 1328 such beneficiaries have been provided free LPG connections.
The Lt Governor further stated that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan started by our Hon’ble Prime Minister has taken well by the Islanders here. Cleanliness is better maintained in A&N Islands when compared to other parts of the mainland and efforts are on to make cleanliness a continuous process. By October 2, 2017, Port Blair will be declared ‘Open Defecation Free’ Islands and by March 2018, the entire A&N Islands will be free from open defecation.
The Lt. Governor also thanked the Andaman and Nicobar Command for their contribution, print & electronic media for highlighting the developmental activities of the Islands, and bringing to the fore problems of the people. He also thanked the Member of Parliament, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray for his support and 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 providing security to the far flung Islands. He also thanked the Addhyakshs of PBMC and Zilla Parishads, PRI members, Tribal Council. The Lt. Governor further appealed all the officers of the Administration to work dedicatedly for the 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 First Lady of these Islands, Smt. Prem Mukhi, Member of Parliament, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray and Smt. Rupa Ray, Padmashree, Shri Naresh Chandra Lall, Chief Secretary, Shri Anindo Majumdar, Chairperson PBMC, Shri  Eswar Rao, Senior Officers from the Defence and Civil Administration, Councilors of PBMC, PRI members, leaders of the Political Parties, prominent citizens and general public.
A 19-member team of ex- Andaman Political Prisoners Fraternity Circle including 9 widows of freedom fighters also attended the main function of the Independence Day at the Netaji Stadium. An IRBn contingent from Puducherry for the first time participated in the Independence Day parade at Netaji Stadium. The defence as well as DSS ships anchored near Ross Island were illuminated at evening hours which added color to the Independence Day celebrations.