Committee to control air ambulance, Lakshadweep administrator races ahead with draconian steps

Lakshadweep Administrator Praful Khoda Patel
Lakshadweep Administrator Praful Khoda Patel

Kavaratti: Paying little heed to the widespread protests against his draconian reforms, Lakshadweep Administrator Praful Khoda Patel is all set to implement more reforms in the union territory.

There were widespread protests against the order to appoint a four-member committee to control the air ambulance used to transport critical patients from the island to the mainland.  

This committee headed by the Health Service Director has to approve all such medical evacuation applications to Kochi, Kavaratti, and Agatti. The Medical Officer's permit was the only requirement for the same until now.

The islanders fear that the formation of the committee will further delay the immediate medical attention required for critical patients.

There is also a move to privatize the tourism activities in Bangara island and the Lakshadweep guesthouse in Kochi.

List of incompetent employees

A list of incompetent government employees is to be prepared with immediate effect, a new notification issued by the administration on May 20 said. A report on the same was to be submitted to the administrator on May 25. 

A selection board had been formed in the UT, upsetting the existing hiring norms. No Lakshadweep representatives were incorporated into the board.


The decision to compile a list of incompetent employees followed this move. It is suspected that it is a move to dismiss more employees from government service.

Hundreds of casual and contract laborers working under different departments had earlier lost their jobs after the rules on the island were changed.

"The administration is trying to take away the jobs of the islanders," Youth Congress workers alleged.

The islanders are likely to challenge the new order in the High Court.

All-party meet

A virtual all-party meet has been summoned on Thursday to discuss the administrator's reforms. BJP representatives will also participate in the meet.

Opposition parties in Lakshadweep and Kerala are up in arms against various measures initiated by the Administrator of the group of islands, terming them as "anti-people" and have sought his recall.

They alleged that the administrator unilaterally lifted restrictions on the use of alcohol in the Muslim-majority islands; banned beef products, citing Animal Preservation; and demolished fishermen's sheds built on the coastal areas, saying they violated the Coast Guard Act.

The BJP, defending Patel, claimed that the protests were a result of his efforts to end "corrupt practices" involving local politicians prevalent and usher in development there.

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