Andaman & Nicobar: Emphasis on Public Transport

From our Correspondent Shri Saravanan T

Improvement of public transport in the Union Territory has always been the main focus area of the Andaman & Nicobar Administration primarily to stem the rise in private vehicles in order to protect the pristine environment of the beautiful islands. Many proactive steps have been taken in this direction. Let us find out how.

About Andaman

The Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a group of 572 picturesque islands, big and small, inhabited and uninhabited, lying in the south-eastern part of the Bay of Bengal, cut off from the mainland by vast stretches of sea. There are 38 islands which are permanently inhabited. The territory’s population projection based on Census 2011 is 4 lakhs (3.8 lakhs as per Census 2011) and 57.05% of this is expected to be rural-based. The literacy rate was 86.63% as per Census 2011. Port Blair is the capital town and acts as a gateway to Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The capital of Andaman & Nicobar Islands has one airport, one major harbour and many small harbours. Andaman is connected with the rest of India only through sea and air routes.

Historical Perspective

The Andaman & Nicobar Islands have been inhabited for several thousand years, at the very least. The earliest archaeological evidence yet documented goes back some 2,200 years; however, indications from genetic, cultural and linguistic isolation studies point to habitation going back 30,000 – 60,000 years, well into the Middle Palaeolithic Age. In the Andaman Islands, the various Andamanese people maintained their separated existence through the vast majority of this time, diversifying into distinct linguistic, cultural and territorial groups.By the 1850s, when they first came into sustained contact with outside groups, the indigenous people of Andamans were the Great Andamanese, who collectively represented at least 10 distinct subgroups and languages; the

Jarawa: the jungle (or Rutland) Jarawa;the Onge; and the Sentinelese (the most isolated of all the groups). The indigenous peoples of the Nicobars (unrelated to the Andamanese) have a similarly isolated and lengthy association with the islands. There are two main groups: the Nicobarese, or Nicobari living throughout many of the islands; and the Shompen, restricted to the interiors of Great Nicobar.
Directorate of Transport
“Developed country is not a place where the poor have cars; it is where the rich use public transport” - Enrique Penelosa, former Mayor of Bogota, Columbia.

The prime objective of the Transport Department is to provide reliable, economic, comfortable and efficient  public road transport service to the people of the Islands and visiting

tourists in all the inhabited Islands in the UT wherever motorable roads exist by deploying better quality buses.In addition,the implementation of the Motor Vehicle Act and Rules is within the ambit of the Department. It ensures a citizen friendly service delivery system in a transparent manner.
Vision of the Department
► Control on the increase of personal vehicles by providing efficient, comfortable and affordable public transport.
► Providing comfortable and reliable transport services to the local and tourist population to match international standards by including Luxury, air conditioned and low-floor buses in the fleet.