Port Blair: The Member of Parliament of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Mr Kuldeep Rai Sharma has requested the Prime Minister of India, New Delhi to allow the landing of flights for a certain window period of 4 to 5 hours every day so that Andaman Nicobar Islands remain connected to Mainland India and are not cut off from rest of India.
In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of India, the Member of Parliament mentioned that this has come to his knowledge that the Andaman Nicobar command has directed to close the only runway of Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands for four consecutive days of each week for March, April & May 2022 for which a NOTAM has also been issued. In this regard he mentioned that such a decision will paralyze the entire system of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and leave a negative impact on day to day affairs of these Islands.
The Member of Parliament pointed out that the tourism industry of Andaman Nicobar Islands is presently generating maximum employment for the local youths. During the first, second and the third waves and during other restrictions, this Tourism Industry has already suffered heavy blow. Now after third wave of COVID-19, the local Administration has reopened Tourism in Andaman Nicobar Islands after which very slowly tourism is picking up but closure of Andaman’s only Runway for four days of each week for March, April & May 2022 will again cause huge loss to the Tourism Industry and create more unemployment.
Infact this decision will have a devastating impact on the Tourism Industry of these Islands, on which thousands of youths are dependent. He added that soon after announcement of such decision, the airfare between Port Blair and Mainland India has become almost double within one week for these three months and this is sure that in coming days the airfare will soar even higher, making it impossible for public to reach Mainland India from Port Blair and vice versa.
He mentioned that presently no passenger ship is being operated between Mainland India and Port Blair since last nearly one year and hence flights are the only lifeline of Andaman Nicobar Islands and for Andaman Nicobar Island there is only one operational runway for passenger flights, which is Veer Savarkar International Airport at Port Blair.