Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

Lt. Governor Addresses Islanders On The Occasion of Independence Day; Assures Sustainable & Inclusive Growth in the Islands


Port Blair, Aug 16: The Lt. Governor, A&N Islands, Lt. Gen (Retd) A.K. Singh, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM has called upon the Islanders to rededicate themselves for the cause of nation building. Greeting the Islanders on the occasion of 67th Independence Day in his Independence Day eve broadcast by AIR this evening, the Lt. Governor also remembered the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the country.

Speaking about his extensive visit to different parts of the Islands, the Lt. Governor said the Islands are truly an example of ‘unity in diversity’ as there is coexistence of people from different parts of the country, and the indigenous tribes, making it a ‘Mini India’ in true sense. The Lt. Governor assured that his decisions pertaining to Islands’ development will be for the welfare of the masses.

The Lt. Governor also expressed happiness over the unique cohesive multi-cultural and multi-linguistic society of the Islands which, he said is our greatest strength. He also appreciated that the Islands are doing far better than mainland as far as social indicators such as literacy rate, infant & maternal mortality ratio etc. are concerned.

The Lt. Governor said that the Islands can become a major tourist destination in the world with its beautiful beaches, forest wealth and coastal flora & fauna; while the rich marine resources offer great potential for fisheries, he said.

Speaking about his vision for the Islands, the Lt. Governor stated that sustainable and inclusive growth is required while keeping in mind the fragile ecosystem and indigenous tribes. He also underlined the need for generating employment opportunities for the youth. The Lt. Governor also highlighted the issue of connectivity between mainland and the Islands as well as between the Islands. He also stressed that strategic security of the Islands has to be strengthened.

The Lt. Governor also mentioned the focus areas like tourism, cottage industries, fisheries and IT services, which will have to be developed. He also said that the work of establishment of a university and a medical college in the Islands will be taken up on priority while infrastructure of health & education sector will be strengthened. The Lt. Governor also stated that the MoS for Sports, Govt. of India has assured all support for sports related projects of the Islands. The sports infrastructure of the Islands will also be upgraded.

Vocational training centres will be set up in far flung areas thereby expanding the skill development opportunities, the Lt. Governor said. The Administration will also implement the Food Security Scheme of the Govt. of India and strengthen the public distribution system of the Islands, he said.

The Lt. Governor also informed that a Tribal Research Institute will be set up for working with the indigenous community.

Referring to the expansion of the fleet of the ships and improvement in passenger services in the mainland-Island and inter-Island sectors, besides improving the air services, the Lt. Governor stated that the Civil Aviation Minister has assured him of fulfilling the demands of the Islands in this connection.

Turning to telecom services, the Lt. Governor stated that for bringing improvement in telecom services in the Islands, the UT Administration has given a sum of Rs.50 crore and also asked the Telecommunication Ministry to enhance their plan allocation.

Besides upgrading the security infrastructure, the police force will be modernized and coastal patrolling & surveillance increased.

Speaking about disaster management in isles, the Lt. Governor said that to ascertain our preparedness, a large scale disaster management exercise is being planned for Nov 20-22 in which Armed Forces, NDMA & NDRF will also participate.

Referring to the Panchayati Raj Institutions, the Lt. Governor said that a road map will be prepared so that the local bodies can provide effective public services.

The Lt. Governor further stated that he will strive to promote a responsive, effective and transparent Administration to the Islanders, with a zero tolerance towards corruption.

The Lt. Governor also thanked the Islanders for their whole hearted contribution for Uttrakhand relief activities. A sum of Rs.2.19 crore has been donated towards Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund as a token of our appreciation for the help provided by the country post tsunami, to our Islands.

The Lt. Governor also thanked the Member of Parliament, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray for his support, the members of PRI, PBMC, Tribal Council and Political Parties for their support. He also lauded the efforts of Defence Forces & Coast Guard for surveillance activities, different Central Government Departments & organisations and other institutions as also the UT Administration for contributing in the developmental activities of the Islands. The Lt. Governor also thanked the media for its support.