Thursday, November 21, 2019

Shri Kuldeep shares his vision for A&N Islands' development



Port Blair, Nov 20: As part of National Press Day celebration, all media persons were felicitated on Nov 17, 2019 by Cooperative Sector, A&N islands at a function at Megapode Resort, Port Blair.
Speaking on the occasion as chief guest, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Member of Parliament and Chairman, Project Coordination Committee, National Cooperative Union of India said, media here has been contributing immensely in the progress and development by way of disseminating useful and relevant information. It has been bringing issues concerning the people lands before the society, system and administration which the authorities strive to resolve. In its bid to pay back their dues, since last 2-3 years, the Cooperative Sector has been felicitating the media persons for their outstanding contributions in the society at large, he said. He also narrated about how cooperative sector has been striving to bring positive changes in the society and help improve the life of the people of the islands. He said that as a Member of Parliament, he has been focusing on four vital issues. The first being water which he said is an important component of life. He has submitted proposals to the UT administration on enhancing the water storage capacity. He stated that while UTs like Delhi provides water to crores of people with marginal rainfall, we have not been unable to provide adequate quantity of water to a population of around 4 lakh despite receiving more than 3000 mm of rainfall annually.  "I have always wished people of these islands should get adequate and quality water 24x7 round the year. In the past, I proposed development of catchment areas from Buniyadabad to Dundus Point Jetty so as to ensure optimal use of rainwater. Similarly, water supply projects at Flat Bay, Rutland, Phongy Balu should be expedited. All these sources can be connected with pipelines so that water can be supplied to any region that experiences water shortage. Construction of rain water reservoirs, lakes, ponds etc in different parts of these islands will also help solve this problem to a great extent. Tapping water sources in Great Nicobar Island can also generate employment if water is exported to dry States like Chennai and supplied to cargo ships passing through the Malacca Straits as per their requirement. Even water can be transported to areas like Diglipur by laying pipelines from Port Blair to Diglipur.
The other important sector is tourism which has tremendous growth potential to generate employment. However, promotion of tourism hugely depends on availability of abundance water. Tourism can generate both revenue and employment if the water issue is resolved and our Islands become a surplus water State. Improvement in the health sector is also a focus area for the Member of Parliament. He is of the view that despite adequate funds, the Health sector here still needs massive improvement. Health sector in the islands can be improved only when each and every health centre, spread across the islands are provided with proper health care facilities, latest and innovative technology, health care equipments, staff & doctors. Improvement in the sports sector is another focus area, the Member of Parliament is working on. He said that there is a need to generate the interest of the youth towards sports and games. In view of the facts that the younger generations are more inclined towards drugs and banned substances, more sports infrastructure facilities should be created so that more and more youth can be motivated towards sports and games. He also informed that he has provided funds under MPLAD for renovation and repair of three stadiums in the Islands. He said the development of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands can be possible only when the islands have its own Legislative Assembly. Unless until a Legislative Assembly is formed in the islands. He further informed that he has placed three bills pertaining to the development of the islands for discussion in this session of Parliament.

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