The meeting of Home Minister Advisory Committee for Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar was held here today under the Chairmanship of Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh. The Union Territory was represented by Dr. Jagdish Mukhi, Lieutenant Governor, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray, Member of Parliament and other Members. The members had suggested 60 agenda items relating to different fields of development and security in the Islands of Andaman & Nicobar. The status on Risk and Hardship allowance to Fire Service personnel, release of pending payment under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and constitution of Committee on land matters were informed in the meeting. Keeping in view the tourism potential of the islands, issues such as development of tourist circuits and opening of more islands for tourism were discussed. The members raised the issues pertaining to construction of roads and bridges and it was informed by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) that in the last 6 months, projects worth Rs. 800 crore approx have been sanctioned for development of National Highways in A&N islands and construction of two bridges at Humphrey Strait Creek and Middle Strait have been started. It was also informed that MoRTH is in process of declaring 6 State Highways as National Highways.
In the shipping sector, the issues that were raised by the members included augmentation of shipping facilities and setting up of ship repairing yard/dockyard & ship wrecking yard. It was decided to strengthen the local shipyard/dockyard and improve the infrastructure facilities at port and harbour. 14Ships has been ordered to augment the existing fleet of ships. The issues related to Civil Aviation were also discussed in the meeting including introduction of flights on International route via Port Blair. It was informed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation that it is exploring the possibilities of starting international operations to/from Port Blair. It was also mentioned that the airfare has come down drastically because of the increase in number and frequency of flights to Port Blair. Works have been started for development of existing airport as International airport which is likely to be completed by 2020. The other items that were discussed during the meeting included revision of Minimum wages, filling up of Group ‘B’ & ‘C’ posts from the candidates belonging to A&N, establishment of AYUSH hospitals, implementation of Shekhar Singh Commission report and setting up of cold storage. Shri Rajnath Singh thanked the Members for the extremely fruitful and detailed deliberations. He expressed hope that the decisions taken during today’s meeting will be implemented in a time bound manner. The Union Home Minister directed the MHA officers and UT administration to expedite the pending issues and also follow up the issues pending with other Ministries. He also said that the administration of Union Territory should take initiative in implementation of Government of India’s flagship programmes. Being administered by the Central Government, the UTs should take the lead role and set example for the other States in this regard, he added. Other participants of the meeting included Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Minister of State (Home), Shri Rajiv Gauba, Officer on Special Duty (Home), Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MoUD and senior officers from MHA and other Ministries viz. Civil Aviation, Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Environment, Forest and Climate Change.