Oh, what an incomparable respite from the tremendously scorching heat & unbearably sultry weather that the Islanders of this “Floating Paradise on Earth” had been suffering from for over almost two months, now!
For, at last, after a long wait and yearning, it has rained today for about one & a half hours this afternoon, for the first time properly in this season in Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
The bionetwork has veered off to a ghastly great extent ever since the appalling Tsunami struck the Islands of peace on 26th December, 2004.
The archipelago that used to receive torrential rainfall almost round the year, a pleasant feature of the Islands that I have personally been witness to, being a local Islander myself, are now left to experience measly rainfall for not more than six to seven months in a year, except for an annual tryst with some transient cyclones.
It’s not merely due to Tsunami or the ever burgeoning danger of Global Warming, for that matter, that the eco-system of these Islands has been transforming itself so rapidly, but also very many man-made episodes of mistakes and thoughtless actions on the part of the Administration and the political leadership as well, which are to blame.
The flawed and indifferent policies of the Administration which is headed by the Central Government bureaucrats in the positions of the Lt. Governor, the Chief Secretary and a mammoth assortment of other Secretaries and Commissioners of various departments and agencies is reflected in the present scenario of these historic coral islands.
The ever-increasing traffic, both vehicular and human is one of a dozen causes of the sorry state of affairs in this crucial Union Territory of India. Although the growth of incoming population from the mainland India with a view of settling down into these fragile coral based islands which had reached an alarming rate during the last decade of the previous century has been somewhat curbed, it still continues to haunt the local residents of these Islands as there have been umpteen number of incidents wherein an incredibly large number of people coming here as labourers have succeeded in grabbing the “Local Certificates” by greasing the palms of the concerned officials of the Administration and have been availing themselves unduly of the benefits thereof.
With the advent of the automobile giants like Maruti and the Hyundai car dealerships in addition to the existing Mahindra & Mahindra, TATA Motors, Ashok Leylands and Hindustan Motors among others, the narrow roads are impounded by automobiles of all sorts. Maruti, Hyundai, Scorpio, Chevrolet, Toyota, Ford, TATA Indica, Sumo, Safari, and a host of other happening motor brands are seen wheeling on the roads of Port Blair and many of the small far-flung islands also.
All these and many others including the merciless and callously unremitting blasting of the delicate hills for obtaining metal chips out of the rocks for the purpose of unplanned constructions all around under the pretext of the implementation of one or the other developmental policy, leaves the irate, long-suffering residents of this virtuous land of the martyrs of the Indian Freedom Movement, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, with the Hobson’s choice – to vote their long-standing Member of Parliament, whom they had always looked forward to with devoted faith for solutions & justice, Mr. Manoranjan Bhakta out of the Parliament and out of any future reckoning, in a bid to end the agonizing saga of unthankful breach of trust of his own people.
The balding hill beside the Corbyn’s Cove beach at Port Blair
Well, for, now, my dear friends, after having spoken my heart out a bit with you all, allow me the luxury of getting drenched in the first showers of the season, something which I’ve loved doing all through my entire life in the Andamans. Catch you later… ciao for now… take care!