Port Blair, July 25: Mr. Vishal Jolly, the State President, BJP, A & N Islands, met the Chief Secretary, A & N Administration yesterday at Secretariat and raised various burning issues related to Quarry, Sand Extraction, Timber etc.
Regarding quarry he mentioned that it is one of the main businesses working as backbone of local economy. This business directly employs 4000 people and indirectly employs 6000 people. The imported stone aggregates rates are 3 times higher than the local stone aggregates rates. The imported stone aggregates have become extra burden to local poor and islanders will suffer.
Mr. Vishal Jolly has requested to issue extension to local quarry operators to provide employment to the islanders involved in the quarry business and to control the price of stone aggregates. As per a release by BJP office, the Chief Secretary, A & N Islands has reportedly said that, the quarry issue will be reexamined and a positive action will be taken.
Regarding Sand Extraction, Mr. Jolly said that enough sand quantity is available at local but the imported river sand cost about 3 times higher than the local sand and the transportation and labour cost is additional.
The GOI has fixed a maximum of Rs. 2.67 Lakhs under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and it is very difficult for poor people to purchase sand at higher cost to build their own house within the cost of Rs. 2.67 Lakhs.
So, to bring down the cost of construction, Mr. Vishal Jolly has requested the Chief Secretary to permit all islanders who have applied sand extraction from their nearby area. As per release issued by BJP office, the Chief Secretary has reportedly replied that, he will try to issue permit for local sand as much as possible soon.
Regarding Timber Issue, Mr. Jolly said that timber extract by forest department is very less in comparison to the quantity permitted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Results, the heavy increase in the price of Saw Timber due to non-availability of timber in Govt. saw mills. The Chief Secretary reportedly replied that, he will examine the issue and take measures to meet out the demand.
Shekhar Singh Commission report was for 10 years and Mr. Vishal Jolly has requested for the revision of the report for the welfare of the islanders and island development. The Chief Secretary reportedly replied that, he will take the matter with the Ministry of Forest & Environment.
Further he also requested for reappointing DRMs under sympathy ground. The Chief Secretary reportedly assured the BJP President that he would look into the entire issues appropriately and take a positive early decision in this regard.