Lakshadweep administration justifies decision to increase shipping to Mangaluru port

The Lakshadweep administration has taken the decision to increase shipping operations from Mangaluru as the port is closer to several islands of Lakshadweep compared to Beypore, according to an affidavit filed by the administration in the Kerala High Court.

The affidavit was filed in response to a public interest litigation challenging the decision of the administration to close down dairy farms in the islands.

It added that the facilities available at the Mangaluru port were much better than that at Beypore. The operation of ships and barges from Mangaluru would help reduce the time taken for operations to many of the islands and also the expenses.

After a detailed analysis, it was felt imprudent to continue the dairy farms suffering a huge loss of more than ₹90 lakh per year. Therefore, it was decided to close down the dairy farms. The decision had no relation to the proposed Animal Preservation Regulation, the administration informed the court.

The affidavit denied the allegation of the petitioner that the ban on liquor had been lifted. In fact, the Lakshadweep Prohibition Regulation provides for granting of licences for consumption and sale of alcohol. Recently, licences were issued to the Tourism Promotion Society (SPORTS) under the administration to serve liquor at three of its beach resorts at three different islands to non-islanders. This was to cater to the needs of tourists.

The affidavit said the decision to disengage excess casual employees working in various establishments was a step to prevent loss to the exchequer. No government could afford to keep casual employees and pay them without any work.

As for removing non-veg food from the midday meal menu, the administration said meat and chicken were normally part of the regular menu in almost all families. On the other hand, consumption of fruits and dry fruits was very less among the islanders. Therefore, the removal of meat and chicken from the menu and inclusion of fruits and dry fruits was perfectly in tune with the objective of the midday meal scheme.

In another affidavit filed in response to a writ petition by Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal P.P. and others challenging the draft regulations, the administration said an effective, meaningful, and transparent consultation process was undertaken by the administration in the case of all regulations.

The petitioners had approached the High Court as part of a campaign against the Lakshadweep administration. The contentions raised by the petitioners had already been considered and rejected by a Division Bench.

The draft regulations had been forwarded to the Home Ministry with the suggestions and objections received, the affidavit added.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 6:19:56 pm |