21July2019

Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

Opinion

LIFE - A precious Gift from the Almighty!

Records indicate that there is one person who ends his life across the world in every 40 seconds and about 8,00,000 people lose their precious lives every year. Of these 1,35,000 (17%) are residents of India, a nation with 17.5% of world population. In Andaman & Nicobar Islands there are around 150 suicides every year.

This is a short film by K. Raja Kumarr, an Islander himself who aims at spreading awareness among people to stay away from such an act, which causes endless miseries to the loved ones.

Life is a gift and one needs to accept it as a wonderful gift from the Almighty. No matter what you are undergoing, Remember You are NOT Alone.

Everyone has a mountain to climb, some higher than others. But the higher you climb, the stronger you'll be.

It’s a humble request from K. Raja Kumarr to share this Video and help save precious lives.

The video has already achieved 12,000 Views in YouTube in Just in 48 Hours. The mission is to reach the video across the globe and help people in distress.

Camera, Editing and Direction: By K.Raja Kumarr

Music: By M. Karthik and Team AMEETA , SAM SINGH, MAYA RAJAN, PRASAD ,PRASANTH JI NEERAJ & PANDI

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/r21PUIdDuM0

  • Written by Denis Giles
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Abolish Octroi Tax in Andaman Islands

By Dr. Dinesh

I had written about this in Dec 13, 2011 to abolish Octroi in the media. The Romans called them “vectigalia” a tax which was levied primarily on wine and certain articles of food. Many Governments had abolished octroi in municipal councils in the year 1991.

Octroi tax is that, its incidence falls largely on the residents of the very city. Nearly a decade has passed since the ongoing tussle between the industries and the municipal corporations states in India either done away with or are into the stages of phasing out octroi. It sees to echo the thought that octroi must be abolished due to its various ill effects including the final distribution price. It is thus imperative to find alternative sources for funding the municipalities.

The octroi system, it is often termed to be “obnoxious” “vexatious” “wasteful” and “distorting”. The abolition of Octroi will not only help to attain economies on logistics and warehousing but will also make it a unified market. Octroi should be eliminated. Abolition of Octroi might result in some initial losses; it will be beneficial in the long run. This will not only ease interstate trade and generate more revenue but also impart some degree of uniformity to the tax system.

Octroi will further burden the poor people, and make a deep hole in their pockets, as the cost of living in Andaman is too high, due to transportation of commodities from mainland, sugar, edible oil, soaps, plastic goods, leather, textiles and ferrous metals.

There is apprehension among traders that unscrupulous elements will import cheap quality goods. The city will suffer as consumers will get poor quality commodities.

Port Blair Municipal Council should impose tax only for petroleum products, tobacco, liquor and new vehicles and should exempt octroi for other products, PBMC should amend the regulation, at the earliest possible. Different states have adopted different measures Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan had adopted by the abolition of Octroi. Punjab has done away with the tax completely without introducing any new tax. The Calcuta Municipal Corporation, the loss incurred from the abolition of Octroi was balanced by taking number of measures. In state of Gujrat Octroi was abolished in 2001, with the exception of six cities and later they came to know this was harming the cities where octroi was still being paid.

In 2007, the tax was abolished in the remaining cities as well. The then  Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh had asked to abolish octroi and even congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhiji had campaigned to abolish octroi by asking traders to send e-mail to his official address and around 9000 e-mails was received.

Shri. Bishnu Pada Ray, Member Parliament in Dec 3, 2011 had raised objection and had asked to abolish Octroi as “The islanders are facing problems due to inflation and rising price index”.

A Notification of Andaman and Nicobar Gazettee, No. 223, published on 16th December 1999 clearly says that ‘Personal apparel in use and not imported for sale’ and ‘Bonafide personal luggage and household kit that is not imported for sale’ shall be exempted from the levy of Octori, and terminal tax.

The trade bandh called on 28th October, 2014 by Andaman Chamber of Commerce and Industry is justified and hopes that Octroi is abolished in Port Blair soon for the benefit of the islanders.

  • Written by Denis Giles
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ANCOL – Will it be Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, Well the developments so far indicate No it’s Not!

By Debkumar Bhadra

Never before in the history of Independent India has anyone given such a resounding and mature message of Unity with Inclusion unlike Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi did when he said : The only code of conduct of the Government should be “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” [Collective efforts inclusive growth]. The paradigm reverberated in the Honble LG’s address delivered on June 18, 2014 during laying the foundation for a Multipurpose Indoor Stadium at Knappuram village in Wimberly Gunj. Reiterating his commitment of commencing a new college from the academic session (2014-15), the LG said demand to establish Andaman College (ANCOL) in Bambooflat/Wimberly Gunj area is genuine as it will benefit many rural students. He did keep his commitment. Two schools namely : Govt Secondary Senior School (GSSS) Haddo Hindi Medium and GSS Haddo English Medium has been elbowed out/merged with a third school and ANCOL installed in its place on July 26, 2014 by borrowing a school building, a few teachers and a Principal from various schools and institutions and set the ball rolling for ANCOL. But whet ever happened next is a clear departure from the paradigm for governance.

A press release carried in the state media said the permanent campus of ANCOL will come up at Chakkargaon. Another release said for identifying a suitable site for the permanent campus of the Andaman College, wide consultation with public representatives, Officers of concerned department, educationists and other stake holder was done.

Finding the decision in contrast, the lone Member of Parliament Shri Bishnu Pada Ray publicly objected and distanced himself from the decision. Similar views of dissent have been put forth by Chairperson Zilla Parishad (SA), Miss V K Mariam Bibi and the State President BJP Shri Vishal Jolly. Though rarely seen, elected representatives and their political affiliates, cutting across party lines unequivocally urged the Administration to review its decision and consider Ferrar Gunj tahsil as the site for permanent campus for the proposed ANCOL.

Sidelining the requests from public and their elected representatives, a decision is known to have been taken to set-up ANCOL near Port Blair which already has three degree level colleges (JNRM, TGCE & DBRAIT). We have been given to understand that at a brainstorming session, majority voiced in favour of Chakkargaon for ANCOL. How far the effort was transparent or for that matter, the outcome trust worthy, could be judged from the fact that the all important session has been conducted on the day cyclone Hudhud threw life out of gear for the islands. The day was declared a holiday for educational institutions since public transport including ferry services was suspended/cancelled due to safety concerns. Consequently those students hailing from rural areas who could have opined Bambooflat, Ferrar Gunj, Tusonabad or some rural area got selectively excluded from the whole exercise.

The bid to rope in students in decision making is welcome, but students are students. If someone from Mayabunder is given a choice, he would opine that the college be situated in the city, may be near Marina Park so that they could spend their spare time chirping with birds under the shade of Casuarina. A patient waiting in que for his turn at a hospital in Rangat, if given a choice will opt to be treated at GB Pant Port Blair. An officer waiting for allotment of residential accommodation would opt Goal Ghar over Chakkargaon. Someone in the social media said, if given an option he would like to see it (ANCOL) at Ghanta Ghar. Jokes apart, it is for sure after ANCOL, the next few generations will not see another college coming up. Therefore such important decision cannot and should not be left to what a particular group says or thinks.

If the authorities really feel student’s interest is paramount and uphold it, they need to look beyond the city limits. Let a session be conducted somewhere in the Ferrar Gunj tahsil involving students from Class XI-XII, who would seek admission to ANCOL in the coming years, their views should be taken. I am sure the authorities will get an answer different from what they got from the chosen ones at Haddo.

The decision to set up another college is going to have its impact on the entire Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Therefore it ought to be taken at an appropriate level with appropriate representation. Rural areas having land resources and target population also need to be included in development initiatives so that benefits which the city counterpart hitherto enjoy percolate to rural population as well. Least the authorities could do in this regard is to revert to the commitment made by Honble LG during laying the foundation for a Multipurpose Indoor Stadium at Knappuram village in Wimberly Gunj. Let the paradigm set by Govt of India be the guiding force. Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas.

  • Written by Denis Giles
  • Hits: 5086