THE LIGHT OF ANDAMANS | VOL 35 | ISSUE 25 | 27 JAN 2012
PC in Political Mode
By Staff Reporter
P Chidambaram, Home Minister surprised everyone by switching on to political mode and showering promises, playing to the gallery at the meeting organized by the State Congress Committee at Gandhi Bhawan premises on 21 January.
Nicobar Islands have recorded a growth of 10 percent, said P Chidambaram addressing Congress workers at Gandhi Bhawan Complex. Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which lies 1200 kms away from India is as much a part of as any other state, he said. It is the duty of the Centre to look after the needs of the 3.9 lakh population here. He said that ANI has always received special attention of the Central Government led by United Progressive Alliance led by Sonia Gandhi. India
P Chidambaram praised the memorandum submitted by the Congress State President and said that he doesn’t have to go through all the representations and memorandums submitted by various political parties and organisations, as the representation of Congress has covered all issues.
On the 2004 tsunami, he said that the first challenge was to rebuild the areas hit by the disastrous tsunami and as Finance Minister during that time; Chidambaram said that sufficient fund was allocated by the Centre. Expressing satisfaction over completion of rehabilitation work, he said that except carpeting of 4.8 km road and distribution of compensation package to the farmers whose lands are submerged, tsunami rehabilitation programme has been fully completed.
He also promised that the plan size for the
Islands will be increased by 30% and about Rs 1400 crores will be allocated next year onwards.
Taking a dig on the present Member of Parliament, he said that no one is happy with the sitting MP and he does not command any support. Congratulating the state Congress party over their victory in all Panchayati Raj and Local Self Government Bodies, he said that there is a small gap, which the party should fill in the 2014 General Elections.
Speaking about the performance of the Party in various states going to polls soon, he said that out of 5 states, Congress is in a comfortable position in 4 states.
On Compensation for Tsunami affected farmers, he said that he is aware of the issue and fund has already been provided to the ANI Admn. He said that 95% of the affected farmers are willing to accept the financial compensation package and the party should work to convince the remaining so that the fund can be disbursed before 31st March 2012. He also assured that the Government has no plans for acquisition of the submerged land.
On the issue of Andaman Trunk Road and Buffer Zone, he said that both are complicated issues and will have to be dealt legally in Supreme Court. However, he said that the Government has gone on appeal. He also assured that the Buffer Zone Regulations will be amended once again.
On ATR, he also said that some NGOs are demanding closure of the road, however, the lives of lakhs of settlers will be affected. He said that the interest of the 3.9 Lakh population as well as the tribals are paramount for Government of India and Congress Party.
Expressing happiness over the improvement of Jarawa tribe, he said that after 2001, Jarawa population has increased by 50% and they are getting the benefits of modern medicine and other facilities. He also said that we should allow Jarawas to mainstream at their own pace.
On the issue of connectivity, he said that despite huge subsidy in Shipping services, the journey is not comfortable. He said that more aircrafts should ply to the
Islands, which will make the fare affordable. On subsidizing airfare, he assured that he is looking into the issue.
On Education and Health, he said that there are not enough seats, although aspirations are very high. Medical colleges with private participation are the only solution to the issue.
He also assured that a special meeting of all concerned ministries will be convened to look into the various issues raised by the party. He also said that most of the decisions would be taken before the month of April as he is planning another visit in April, when he would visit North and Middle Andaman District.
Earlier, Kuldeep Rai Sharma welcomed P Chidambaram and also highlighted various issues of the
Islands and submitted a memorandum.