Andaman intensifies anti-encroachment drive

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Port Blair, May 7 (UNI) The Andaman and Nicobar Administration has intensified its anti-encroachment drive following the increasing number of encroachers in the islands.

Official sources said here today that since the past four days, eight encroachments were removed from Port Blair while another 79 have been removed from various pockets of the capital since the past one month.

The official population of the Centrally governed Union Territory is around two lakh, but unofficially the number has crossed 4.5 lakh because of the uncontrolled influx of encroachers from the mainland.

''There are also cases where local residents of the islands have encroached on government and forest land,'' the sources said.

''All the encroachments on the government revenue vacant land, road chain nallah and other such cases should vacate the land within 15 days failing which the revenue functionaries shall remove the encroachments as per the existing regulations and all the removed property will be surfed into the government's account,'' an official warning issued here said today.

However, local people alleged that due to lack of initiatives from the local administration, encroachers were capturing government land while the administration alleged that politicians were giving protection to encroachers for their vested interests.

Meanwhile, various NGOs across the country have been demanding implementation of the Inner Line Permit in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands so that influx and encroachment could be curbed.

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