The dawn of a new era in island
Andaman, this month, witnessed an unprecedented student uprisal with the B.Tech students of Dr BR Ambedkar Institute of Technology (DBRAIT) organising demonstrations both inside and outside of the college campus. The students have been pressing for various demands including filling of the vacant posts of regular professors and other non-teaching staff for over a month now. The students had also demanded that core subjects be taught by regular faculty than being taught by under qualified and guest faculty. The protests took a violent turn when over 200 students were picked up by police in the midst of the protests. They were released after signing a declaration, according to sources. The action however, failed to stop students from organising more such protests.
Forever etched in memories
MV Harshavardhana, one of the oldest passenger ships operated between mainland India and Andaman Nicobar Island, has been reportedly sent to Colombo, Sri Lanka to scrap. For over a year, the island administration had been in a dilemma deciding whether to repair the 45-year-old ship or to send it to scrap. Harshavardhana had been linking the islands to Mainland India, taking and bringing people back for a very long time and hence the memories of Harshavardhana will always remain in etched in the memory of an entire generation of islanders.
A step towards better governance
The ward councillor of Port Blair’s Brichgunj area has taken governance to another level. The Councillor, evidently concerned by illegal quarrying, has resorted to building her own ‘check post’ to keep tab on the movement of crusher and quarry operators running trucks in the area. Alleging that the trucks that operate that during night and late night hours causes disturbance to public she has constructed the ‘check post’ with approval from the District Commissioner of South Andaman. The official has also promised to depute a government staff for the same. This is perhaps the first time a leader has taken such a big step against illegal plying of trucks with quarry materials in Port Blair city.
Warnings that went unheeded
In the last couple of months, Andaman witnessed two different cases of fish poisoning with over 50 islanders falling ill. Though the victims and their families alleged the presence of harmful chemicals due to preservatives used by the traders to increase the shelf life of fish, the administration maintained that incidents were not common and occurred due to the consumption of a particular variety of fish —Twin Spotted Snapper, locally known as Kutha Bhetki. However, after media reports emerged about the incident, the island administration has now sent the fish samples to Chennai for analysis.
Our correspondent in Andaman and Nicobar Islands