More muscle to Coast Guard
For the safety and security requirements of the strategically important Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Coast Guard Regional Headquarters has enhanced its surface capabilities by inducting ICGS Vijit in its fleet recently at Port Blair. This is the second ship of its class based at Port Blair and will augment the maritime search and rescue, marine pollution response and maritime law enforcement operations in and around Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Built at Goa Shipyard Limited, the vessel has a surveillance capability for 28 days, providing it an endurance range of 4,500 nautical miles and 26 knots of maximum speed, the Coast Guard claimed.
Helping the flood-affected people
Locals in Great Nicobar came together to pool in funds and donations for reaching out to the flood-affected people in Kerala. They managed to raise an amount of Rs 1.28 lakh for the noble purpose. A demand draft drawn in the name of Chief Ministers’ Distress Relief Fund, Thiruvananthapuram, was handed over to Chetan B Sanghi, chief secretary, Andaman and Nicobar at the Secretariat recently by a delegation of the people from Campbell Bay. The demand draft, along with the one-day salary collected from the officers and employees of the Andaman & Nicobar administration, will be sent to the Kerala Chief Minister by the Lt. Governor, Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Heavy downpour in last one week
Several parts of Andaman and Nicobar Islands received heavy downpour in the last one week. It led to water stagnation and flood-like situation in many parts. Dollygunj and Mohanpura areas of Port Blair city and Webi village of Middle Andaman were the worst-hit. According to the Meteorological department, Andaman will receive heavy rain in coming few days also. Rainy season happens twice a year under the influence of the Southwest monsoon from mid-May to September, and the Northeast monsoon from November to January. Medium to heavy rain are normal from May to mid-September and November to mid-December.
Clearance to bridge construction
Apart from other issues relating to development, Lt. Governor Admiral (retd.) D K Joshi raised the issue of CRZ clearance for Middle Strait Bridge during the IDA meeting held recently under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister. Upon continuous and vigorous persuasion of local MP Bishnu Pada Ray with the central ministries, the Centre has accorded CRZ clearance for the construction of the bridge over the creek between Middle Strait and Baratang.
The NHIDCL had awarded the `170 cr project to Vasistha Mantena last year but work was stalled in absence of the CRZ clearance. The bridge over Middle Strait Andaman Trunk Road, the life line of North and Middle Andaman, will shorten the journey from nearly 12 hours to nearly 7-8 hours. Work on the second bridge of Humphery Strait is already in progress.
Sanjib Kumar Roy
Our correspondent in Andaman and Nicobar Islands