PORT BLAIR: The Home Ministry Advisory Committee meeting for Andaman and Nicobar Islands was held after an 11-year gap under the chairmanship of Mr. Rajnath Singh, at the Home Ministry of India on 28th July.
Before the meeting, a senior delegation of Andaman’s Bharatiya Janta Party called on the home minister and submitted various pending demands of the remote union territory.
Statehood was the main priority and the leaders demanded to replace the Zilla Parishad with a Legislative Council or Pradesh Parishad so that the public have a say in the system.
Presently Andaman’s entire Administration works under the Lt. Governor, appointed by the President of India. Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been demanding statehood ie. a legislative council for the past several decades.
Currently the islands have only one Member of Parliament. Other prominent demands were setting up a trans-shipment Port at Campbell Bay, Great Nicobar; setting up Separate Shipping Corporation for A&N Islands, Visa on arrival facility for tourists, opening more islands for tourism, development of tourism circuits, construction of bridges, review of the Shekhar Singh Commission Report, Inner Line Permit to check the population influx, undersea fibre optic cable etc.
The Union minister directed MHA officers and the union territory administration to expedite pending issues and also asked the UT Administration to take an initiative to implement the Government of India’s flagship programmes.