BJP opposes handing over ATR's work to BRO in Andaman

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Port Blair, Feb 20 (UNI) The Andaman unit of the BJP today came down heavily on the Centre's recent move to hand over the maintenance work of Andaman Trunk Road (ATR) to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

In a press conference here, the party expressed anger over this move of UPA government that was hitherto under the control of the Andaman Public Works Department (APWD).

''On February 25, 2004, the NDA government at the Centre had declared the ATR as National Highway to get more funds for the road's maintenance. However, on March 2, 2005, the then Andaman and Nicobar chief secretary D S Negi wrote a letter to the then secretary of the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry Dharmendra Kumar that it will be beyond the capacity of the APWD to carry out the work and advised to designate the BRO for the assignment and hence, the ATR has been handed over to the BRO,'' the BJP said in a press release.

The party alleged that the decision will have an adverse effect on the economy of the islands by affecting numerous people like contractors, quarry owners and various other people dependent directly or indirectly on the work, besides rendering most of the APWD jobless.

''To protest this decision, the BJP will be organising 'APWD Bachao, Rozgar Bachao' agitation from today which will include public meetings at various places,'' president of the BJP's Andaman unit Vishal Jolly said.

Besides, a district-level protest rally will be held on February 27 at Mayabunder and also at Port Blair on March 12, Mr Jolly added.

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