John Wilbert & Vikramaditya
Port Blair, September 22: In a bid to counter the continuous press conferences held by the Congress party, Mr. Ajoy Bairagi, the State President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Mr. Vishal Jolly, BJP’s National Executive Member and former State President, led a press conference today at the BJP State Office located at Shyama Prasad Mukerjee Bhawan, Middle Point.
The conference saw the presence of prominent BJP leaders, including Mr. K Ramdas, State General Secretary, and Dr. Devdas, State Secretary. The primary objective of this press conference was to respond to what the BJP perceived as unfounded allegations raised by the Congress Party, both at the national level and concerning the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
One of the central issues addressed during the conference was the deplorable condition of NH4 in North and Middle Andaman, which has been a major concern for the local population over the past couple of years. Mr. Bairagi conveyed that the BJP had taken this issue seriously and had raised it with the BJP High Command and Mr. Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India in New Delhi.
A detailed letter accompanied by photographs highlighting the dire state of NH-4 was submitted to the Minister. Additionally, the problem was also brought to the attention of the Andaman & Nicobar Administration, leading to a meeting with National Highways Officials and the NH road contractor. During this meeting, the contractor assured that the existing 3.5 KM road stretch between Baratang to Rangat (54 KM), Nimbutala Jungle (11 KM), and Billiground would be made motorable, addressing all potholes.
He claimed that the Chief Secretary also pledged to provide all possible assistance to complete the work. While the contractor managed to complete approximately 08 to 10 KM of work, they failed to fulfill their promise. Heavy monsoon rains exacerbated the road’s condition, making it even worse.
Recently, the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) assigned work to three new contractors to repair potholes and one contractor for major repairs. A total of four contractors are currently working on the project. The existing tender for the Baratang to Rangat road work will be canceled within a month, and officials have assured that the re-tendering process will commence by January 2024. The forest clearance for the 11 KM Nimbudera Jungle stretch will be obtained within a month, and the work is expected to be completed by March 2024, as per NHIDCL’s commitment.
Mr. Vishal Jolly, BJP’s National Executive Member and former State President, emphasized the party’s dedication to serving the people. He underscored that the Bharatiya Janata Party is continually striving for the welfare of the underprivileged and recently met Mr. Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, GoI. During the meeting, the BJP delegation presented a comprehensive account of NH-4’s lamentable condition, complete with facts and figures.
In response, the Union Minister directed the authorities of NHIDCL to expedite the process of canceling tenders awarded to the contractors responsible for the current state of NH-4. Fresh tenders will be called for immediately, and repairs will be carried out on various stretches of NH-4 as necessary.
Mr. Jolly also highlighted the suffering and mental anguish of commuters in North & Middle Andaman District, specifically pointing out three main stretches with severely deteriorated conditions: 22 KM between Baratang to Azad Hind Fauj, 12 KM beyond Rest Camp, and 10 KM between Kaushalya Nagar to Gate No 15.
Furthermore, Mr. Jolly provided an update on government job recruitment, noting that the Governor and Chief Secretary are diligently working to fill 5,000 vacant positions before the end of this year.