Monday, September 19, 2011

Inefficient Ferry Service: Admn's Response An Eyewash: Humane Touch


Inefficient Ferry Service:
Admn's Response An Eyewash: Humane Touch

By Staff Reporter

Andaman and Nicobar Admn in a communication addressed to Humane Touch has said that there has been manifold increase in passenger as well as vehicular traffic between Bambooflat and Chatham and the Admn is trying all efforts to meet the demands of the public. This is in response to a representation given by Humane Touch to the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, Government of India, highlighting the plight of commuters of ferry service between Chatham and Bambooflat.
The Admn’s letter adds that at present 30-32 trips of vehicle ferry and 18-20 passenger ferry vessel trips are being provided between Bambooflat and Chatham in a day and further augmentation of vehicle ferry and ferry vessels at the above sector with the available limited port infrastructure is not possible as these jetties are designed and constructed many years back as per then requirement. Moreover, the operational route of vehicle ferry and passenger ferry between Chatham and Bambooflat is a busy channel and further increase in frequency of passenger ferry/vehicle ferry service will create hindrance to other bigger vessels using the same navigational channel.
The letter addressing the technical aspects further says that technical problems are inevitable and cannot be avoided. Though in the event of breakdown of vessel,a  replacement vessel is immediately pressed into service so that passenger as well as vehicular traffic can be smoothly managed. However, to arrange and mobilize a replacement vessel from Phoenix Bay jetty to Bambooflat, considerable amount of time is required. Proposals have been mooted to increase the infrastructure facilities at both the jetties i.e. Chatham and Bambooflat. These include extension of Bambooflat jetty. On acquisition of such facilities, ferry services between these places are likely to be improved to cater to the increased demand, the communication said.
Commenting on the response of the Administration, K P Mohd Younus, President, Humane Touch said that the response is an eyewash and unconvincing on the issues raised by the Organisation. Administration instead of addressing the issues have expressed their inability and indifferent attitude towards the commuters in this route. He said that Administration is silent about the issue raised by Humane Touch about wastage to public exchequer by purchase of two RO-RO type vehicle ferries, lying idle without serving any purpose.

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