NATIONAL

Andamans plan pegged at Rs. 1,120 crore



Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The annual Plan for the Andaman & Nicobar Islands was pegged at Rs. 1,120 crore at a meeting on Friday between Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Lt. Governor M.M. Lakhera.

The Commission granted an additional Rs. 235 crore under the Rajiv Gandhi rehabilitation package even as it expressed dissatisfaction with the pace of post-tsunami reconstruction activities.

Dr. Ahluwalia expressed his displeasure over the slow pace of reconstruction of the areas devastated by the tsunami on December 26, 2004. There was a need for review of the progress made so far so as to remove the hitches that may be hindering the reconstruction programme.

Dr. Ahluwalia told Mr. Lakhera that the Prime Minister had directed the Commission to ensure that the reconstruction of the islands be held as a model development effort. The Territory was asked to introduce quarterly review of the development programmes to ensure the removal of impediments.

Dr. Ahluwalia told Mr. Lakhera that he had directed the Member-Secretary of the Commission, Rajeeva Ratna Shah, to hold a meeting of all Union Ministries involved in the reconstruction to review the progress made and remove bottlenecks pertaining to healthcare, environmental clearance problem, tourism and identification of land for agriculture and habitation.