Important Issues Relating to Welfare of The Islanders Discussed

Port Blair, Nov. 28: TheLt Governor, Lt Gen (Retd) A. K. Singh today chaired the LG’s Advisory Council meeting at the conference hall of Raj Niwas. In his introductory speech, the LG said that the Advisory Council is a very important forum for deliberating on key issues concerning the Islands and added that everyone present here in the meeting is an expert in his own field and suggestions given in this meeting will be very important for the development of the Islands and welfare of the people. The Lt Governor further said that in the absence of a Legislative Assembly in the Islands, it is very essential that the views of the representatives of people are taken into consideration.

Explaining his vision for the development of the Islands, he said “I had already spelled out my vision of development in my Independence Day message. The development model for the Islands will be sustainable and inclusive growth, keeping in mind the fragile ecosystem and the indigenous tribes”. On functioning of Panchayati Raj Institutions, he said PRIs are the backbone of the Islands and the roots of democracy. “Our Panchayati Raj Institutions in the Islands are evolving and we have to allow them time to mature and flourish”, he said.

On the security aspect, he said the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are of great strategic value to the country and its development will be done keeping its strategic importance in mind.  “From a strategic outpost, we have to make these Islands into a strategic springboard in tune with our Look East Policy”. On the recent cyclone ‘Lehar’, he expressed his satisfaction with the response of the Administration in dealing with relief and rescue works. He praised Andaman Nicobar Command and Coast Guard for their commendable services in rescuing the missing fishermen. 

This meeting of the LG’s Advisory Council was held after almost a gap of 2 years. It was decided that this Council would meet once in a quarter to deliberate on all important issues relating to the Islands.

Chief Secretary, Shri Anand Prakash made a presentation on the Administration’s vision of development and the focus areas. 

The Council deliberated on issues such as education policy, issue of encroachments, housing project and other major projects of the Port Blair Municipal Council.

The Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Shri B. P. Ray, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, President, PCC, Shri Vishal Jolly, President, BJP State Unit, and heads of major political parties attended the meeting. Also present were Chairperson (PBMC), Adhyaksha, Zilla Parishad (SA) and Adhyaksh, Zilla Parishad (M&N Andaman), Chief Captain, Tribal Council (Car Nicobar), Chairperson (SSWB), Pramukhs of the seven Panchayati Samitis, representatives of Andaman Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) and some experts as special invitees.  

A number of valuable suggestions were received from the members during the deliberation.  

In his concluding remarks, the Lt Governor expressed his satisfaction that the members of the Advisory Council were up-front in expressing their views and raised important issues relating to the welfare of the people of the Islands. He conveyed his appreciation to all members of the Council.