Andaman MP requests UT administration operate passenger vessels from Chennai & Kolkata to Port Blair

PTI Port Blair | Updated on September 04, 2021

Meant to provide cheaper transit to islanders stranded on the mainland

Kuldeep Rai Sharma, an MP of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, demanded that the union territory administration operate passenger vessels between Chennai–Port Blair and Kolkata-Port Blair to bring back islanders who are stranded on the mainland due to high airfares.

In a letter to the Chief Secretary of Andaman and Nicobar administration, the Congress MP said that many islanders stranded in Chennai and Kolkata have informed him that due to high airfare between Chennai-Port Blair and Kolkata-Port Blair, they are unable to reach Port Blair from mainland.

High air fares

He said that when cross-checked by his office staff, it was found that the airfare from Chennai to Port Blair, in the month of September, ranges from ₹8,000 - ₹29,000. Similarly airfare between Kolkata and Port Blair ranges from ₹10,000 - ₹28,000, which is unaffordable for a lot of people, especially people from low-income groups and islanders who have gone to the mainland for medical treatment.

The MP said that in the absence of a passenger vessel from mainland these stranded islanders can’t avail ship journeys to Port Blair. For them, staying back in mainland and waiting for airfare to come down is also impossible, as, living cost per day in the mainland for a low-income group family is beyond their budget.

The Member of Parliament requested the Chief Secretary to operate a passenger vessel from Chennai to Port Blair and Kolkata to Port Blair, so that these islanders can reach Port Blair safely by buying ship tickets, which are cheaper and affordable for them.

Published on September 04, 2021

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