100 per cent job reservation!
The Joint Action Forum (JAF) on October 5 held a dharna at Port Blair to demand 100 per cent job reservation for Islanders in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. All senior leaders and prominent supporter of JAF were present during the protest. The JAF has also sent a letter to the Lt. Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and pointed out that in spite of repeated representation and even HMAC direction on July 2017, the administration has done nothing to provide maximum job opportunities to the islanders.
This, they said, resulted in the dharna to fulfill the long- pending genuine demand. The demand has reached its peak as the islands are gearing up for the Lok Sabha elections just like the mainland.
Tourism hiccups for locals
The Association of Andaman Tour Operators (AATO) has demanded revisal of rates for tickets of the popular Sound and Light Show at Cellular Jail and Ross Islands. They also said tickets should be booked on the spot.
In a letter addressed to chief secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Administration, M Vinod, the AATO president said the present system of online booking of tickets is creating a lot of problems to stakeholders and tourists due to connectivity problem. He said that the AATO had requested to revise the increased ticket rates of these shows as it became difficult to explain to everyone the logic behind three different ticket rates for the same show.
FM radio channels for Andaman
The Ministry of I&B recently announced that a new setup would provide FM Radio services to remote Car Nicobar Islands, which spans about 11 kilometre from East to west and about 14 kilometre from North to South. The setup is likely to be operated by end of this year.
As far as private FM is concerned, three private radio channels have been proposed in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands under the FM Radio Phase-III scheme. The broad-bands are likely to be auctioned in batches. This news has brought a great sense of relief for the local people as till now there is neither full time nor any private FM radio channel in Andaman.
Rally by Bengali islanders
Despite heavy rain, the Bangla Joint Action Committee (BJAC) held a massive rally at Port Blair in which about 1,500 people participated. The BJAC leaders mainly stressed on guidelines for ways to deal with the harassment of Bengalis on the suspicion of being Bangladeshis. They also demanded proper identification of foreign intruders, if any. Concerns were flagged regarding the matter that recently slogans like ‘Bangali Hatao’ were allegedly raised during a JAF’s rally.
The BJAC also opposed the Shekhar Singh Commission and demanded a review of the Vivek Rae Committee’s recommendations. Other major demands were 100 per cent job reservation for islanders, stopping illegal entry of foreign nationals, giving proper importance to Bengali language, giving promised facilities to settlers and their off springs and stopping closure of Bengali schools in Bengali areas.