No tourists on Jarawa zone road, islanders need ID card

Jarawa road

Following a recent Supreme Court order, the Andaman and Nicobar administration has made a key road passing through the Jarawa zone out of bounds for tourists and made production of identity cards mandatory for locals to purchase tickets to use the road in commercial vehicles.

In a notification today, the secretary of the transport department of the A&N administration has barred government or private buses or other commercial vehicles from carrying tourists through the Andaman Trunk Road (ATR).

The ATR connects Port Blair with Greater Nicobar and passes through the area where members of the Jarawa, an endangered tribe, live.

The islanders intending to travel in buses through the ATR would have to produce identity cards to obtain tickets, while those seeking to visit relatives or friends living near the road needed to fill up a prescribed form providing their details, the notification said.

Local people can use their personal vehicles for travelling on that road with proper identity proof, it said adding action would be taken against those violating the instruction.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi on January 21 said only government officials and people living there would be allowed to use the road.

The apex court had on July 3 last year had banned all kinds of commercial and tourism activities within five km radius around the Jarawa Tribal Reserve in the Islands.

It had upheld the notification to declare an area up to five km radius around the tribal reserve as 'Buffer Zone' and prohibit entry of any person other than a member of aboriginal tribe into it.

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