Friday, September 5, 2014

Illegal Immigration into Andaman & Nicobar to be Curbed, Says MoS Home Kiren Rijiju

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Kiren Rijiju has said that illegal immigration into the strategic islands of Andaman & Nicobar would be curbed. Addressing media persons at Port Blair today before winding up his three-day official tour to the Islands, he said that it has come to the knowledge of the Centre that people from abroad manage to secure bogus identities and infiltrate into Andaman & Nicobar. However, the Centre is committed to put a check on such illegal activities, he said.
Cautioning against overcrowding in the environmentally sensitive islands of Andaman & Nicobar, Shri Rijiju said congestion would hamper its ecological protection and sustainable development. He favoured effective regulations in allowing people from outside the Islands in restricted areas. However, he emphasized that while protecting the cultural identities and livelihoods of the indigenous population, promotional activities should also go hand in hand in such a way that balanced growth is ensured without compromising on the interests of the tribal people.
The Minister said the Government has proposed to give 33 percent reservation to women in police force, and it would come into force very soon. He stressed the citizens to be gender-sensitive and to respect the rights and dignity of women. Under police modernization programme, more Closed Circuit TVs and better street lighting and traffic systems would be provided apart from augmenting the strength of police personnel, Shri Rijiju said.
While responding to a query on the issue of high cost of air travel between the islands and mainland, Shri Rijiju said the issue would be actively looked into by the Centre. The need to increase the frequency of inter-island ferry travel would also be considered sympathetically, he said.
Actions are being initiated at a fast pace to overcome the problem of poor telecom connectivity in the Islands that suffer from paucity of satellite transponders. Rs 150 crore has already been released to the Islands Administration by the Centre for improving telecom connectivity, he informed.
As the basic geographical structure of the Islands and in some cases their dimensions have got marginally changed due to the 2004 Tsunami, remapping of the Union Territory and preparing the latest and reliable cartography of the islands would be initiated very soon, by adopting the latest scientific tools and technology, said Shri Rijiju.
More administrative powers would be delegated to the Island Administration, and the Centre would mainly be concerned with major policy initiatives related to the Islands. As the economy of the nation has clocked 5.7 percent growth, the financial situation would improve in due course and more funds would be available for plan projects aimed at development activities. Shri Rijiju asked the officials of the Government and quasi-Government agencies to be punctual, to make the service delivery system more effective and to ensure corruption-free environment while being citizen-centric.
The Chief Secretary of the Andaman & Nicobar Administration Shri Anand Prakash and the Member of Parliament of Andaman & Nicobar, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray were also present.