19November2018

Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

Todays Highlight

Jarawas in Tirur: Irreversible Cultural Damage!

By Zubair Ahmed

One after the other, news about illicit barter between settlers and Jarawa tribe and exploitation are pouring in from Tirur since change of guard in AAJVS. In a fresh incident reported from Tirur, one Ashush Samaddar was arrested by Police on a tip off about a group of Jarawas being sheltered by him and for serving liquor in exchange of 20 kg of venison.  The Jarawa youth Kunu along with two members were found at the poacher's residence.

Of late, many incidents of transgressions are reported from Tirur. It has also come to light that four poachers, in connivance with a few staff in AAJVS headquarters are engaged in such activities. Three of them who are suppliers of implements to AAJVS also engage in illicit barter with the Jarawas. A couple of months back, one such person Saurab Biswas who was detected with a group of Jarawas was chased and apprehended by Coast Guard. However, he was let off after it was confirmed by AAJVS headquarters that he was an authorized supplier to AAJVS and also engaged in transporting Jarawas in his Dinghy officially. Later, his tender was cancelled. But, he managed to get fresh tender to one of his kin, Narayan Biswas.

The illegal liaison by such unscrupulous staff of AAJVS and police personnel posted in Tirur is a matter of serious concern as it fails all efforts to curb the menace of illegal poaching inside the Reserve and the unwarranted exposure.

Moreover, the cultural damage among Jarawas caused due to the prolonged excesses of six to seven years seems to be irreversible. The recent incident of a scuffle between two Jarawas under the influence of liquor did not attract the attention of the policymakers. The episode was given a different colour and concealed. For a decade, Tirur Jarawas remained under abrupt neglect and exploitation, with police personnel as well as the Tribal Welfare Officer posted in Tirur having a free reign.

It is also learnt that a few settlers were also indulging in sexual exploitation of the Jarawas. Some of them have erected small sheds behind their houses, where liquor is served and obscene films shown to Jarawas and lured to indulge in sexual acts. Though, such incidents were very much in the knowledge of police as well as the officer posted in Tirur, they turned blind towards it.

After the change of Tribal Welfare Officer posted in Tirur, and increased watch, Jarawas, who were addicted to alcohol are now desperate for their daily quota.

Without a total overhaul of the Jarawa police outpost at Tirur and an ironhanded approach in dealing with the poachers, the situation will only get worse. However, in most cases, the culprits seemed to be let off after minor or petty charges filed against them, making a mockery of the provisions of ANPATR.

  • Written by Denis Giles
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Just Ahead of the Mega Mock Disaster Management Exercise, Rumour on Salt Scarcity Spreads

Rangat, Nov. 19: As Andaman & Nicobar Islands is all set for the mega state level mock exercise on disaster management on 22nd Nov. ’13, it appears that some miscreants have grabbed the opportunity to spread a rumour on ‘Salt Scarcity’ to prevail in the Islands.  Following the rumour people in the Middle Andaman area have stared stocking salt packets to get away with the situation, if it does happen.

According to reports gathered, the rumour being spread is such that consequent upon the recent floods in Eastern States of India, salt production has been badly affected. To this the residents especially of Rangat, Bakultala and Kaushalyanagar have started stocking salt packets.

It is also learnt that few grocery shop owners have tried to dispel the concern, yet it appears that the rumour is spreading like fire. It is also predicted that if such situation continues, the time is not far when Salt Packets will be sold in black markets.

  • Written by Denis Giles
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Mock Disaster Management Exercise on 22nd Nov: Commissioner- Cum-Secretary Calls for Active Participation of General Public

   

Port Blair, Nov. 14: The Commissioner-cum-Secretary Disaster Management, Ms. Punya Salila Srivastav IAS has called for active participation from the members of general public during the State Level Mock Exercise on Disaster Management to be held on 22nd Nov. 2013.

Addressing the media today afternoon in the media room of Directorate of Disaster Management the Ms. Srivastav said that the mock exercise is being done in the supervision of National Disaster Management Authority. Since A&N Islands is vulnerable to disasters not only geographical but also hydro metrological disasters such as cyclone, flooding, storm etc. it becomes the responsibility of the islanders to be alert and prepared.

The Commissioner cum Secretary also explained that the Disaster Management Mock Exercise has been set up involving various agencies and govt. machineries under the unified command of the Hon’ble Lt. Governor. While the Chief Secretary is the Responsible Officer (RO) for Incident Response at the UT Level, the Commissioner (DM/ RR) is the Incident Commander (IC) at the UT Level. The Deputy Commissioners are Responsible Officers at the District Level and Asst. Commissioners are the Incident Commanders at Sub Divisional Level.

She further said that Incident Response Teams have been identified at UT/Dist/Sub Divisional level with roles and responsibilities given. Soon after receipt of Disaster Treat Message, Incident Action Plan (IAP) will be prepared. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be activated by all the PRIs without waiting for any directions from the respective headquarters.

State Control Rooms (SCR) has been set up in Port Blair and 6 Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) have been set up at Mayabunder, Port Blair, Hut Bay, Car Nicobar, Kamorta and Campbell Bay, which will function in coordination with the Control Rooms of Police, Port Management Board, Directorate of Shipping Services, Port Blair Municipal Council, Electricity Department and the Andaman & Nicobar Command.

The SCR has been equipped with STD/ISD/FAX and all control rooms are connected with VHF to ensure exchange of communication under any situation. As many as 13 Satellite Phones have also been distributed to various islands. Video conferencing with MHA and EOCs, DMS Server link with MHA, SMS Burst, Electronic Display Board, Toll Free Helpline 1077 (Dist EOCs 1070) etc. have also been added to ensure proper communication.

With regard to Early Warning and Communication System hotlines in SCR with INCOIS and ANC has been connected through BSNL. Apart from this VSAT Connectivity in State Control Rooms and EOCs with INCOIS are independent of BSNL. VHF Sets with DM Channel 7 has also been dedicated by A&N Police upto Tehsil level Revenue Officers. Presently INCOIS/USGS/European websites monitored by INCOIS bulletins are being received through FAX/E-mails. The bulletins are being received in 33 email ids, 46 FAX nos. and 105 mobile numbers and all members associated are independently informed.

Apart from the above 13 Electronic Display Boards installed by INCOIS have been provided to 5 EOCs and in the State Control Room. 20 sirens & 3 additional sirens at DSS, DBRAIT & Forest in South Andaman and 9 sirens in Nicobar District are being used to issue alerts. Plans are on to install 4 additional sirens before the exercise on 22nd Nov. in the N&M Andaman. Moreover attempts are being made to remotely activate the sirens through SMS. Area specific SMS Alert to public will also be operationalized through BSNL, informed the Commissioner –cum-Secretary.

As a new initiative, Megaphones/ PA Systems and Mobile Communication Vans of Police will be used to inform the public.

There are two levels defined for the Mock Exercise. In the Level I, communication test will be done on 20th Nov. 2013 at 0930 (IST) in the entire A&N Islands. This is to also note the gaps in order to bridge them if any. In the Level II, Mock Exercise with selected communities will be held on 22nd Nov. 2013 at 0930 (IST). The selected communities have been identified as South Andaman District: Ward No. 7 & 8 in Port Blair, Shorepoint, Bambooflat and Hopetown. Mus, Kinmai, Small Lapathy, Kakana & Campbell Bay in Nicobar District, Aamkunj and Nimbutala in N&M Andaman District. Apart from these all schools and colleges across Andaman & Nicobar Islands will conduct evacuation drill on 22nd Nov. 2013, Ms. Srivastav informed.

The Exercise scenario will be such that a magnitude of earthquake measuring 9.0 MW, Lat 3.35 N Long 95.96 E, Depth 10 Km, Region: North Sumatra and an origin time of 0930 (IST) on Nov. 22, 2013. This is followed with 3 to 5 mtrs of waves hitting the coast of Port Blair, Rangat, Car Nicobar and Campbell Bay causing wide spread damage, added the Commissioner –cum-Secretary.

  • Written by Denis Giles
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