Lakshadweep Administrator Patel says no plans for rollback of regulations

Proposals sent to Ministry of Home Affairs

Lakshadweep Administrator Praful Khoda Patel has forwarded the contentious draft laws for approval from the Ministry of Home of Affairs to be implemented in the Union Territory.

The four proposals — the Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation, the Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation, the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation and the Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulation — have been the subject of a public disagreement for some of the authoritarian provisions.

Exuding confidence that he had secured the mandate from the Centre to go ahead with development projects, Mr. Patel said that proposals would be implemented after the President gave his assent to make “regulations of peace, progress and good government” of the Union territory of Lakshadweep under Article 240 of the Constitution.

“ All the draft proposals have been in the public domain for more than two months. Now the Central government will decide on ratification or any changes to the draft proposals. The approval will take some time as the priority of the government is to tackle the covid crisis, “ he told The Hindu.

On the controversial Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation, Mr. Patel said that the law was drafted to provide for the preservation of animals suitable for milch, breeding or agricultural purposes. The draft law bans the slaughter of cows, the calf of a cow, bull and bullock.

“The beef issue should not be viewed on a community basis. There is also no politics involved in the draft. If we had to play politics, we would have opted only for vegetarian food in mid-day meals for children,” he said.

He said that the objective of the mid-day meal was to provide essential nutrition to the children from the deprived community and tackle malnutrition. “ Fresh fish is abundantly available in Lakshadweep. Also, changing the midday meal to fish and egg will provide more employment to fishermen, “ Mr. Patel said.

On the contentious provision of two-child policy in the Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulation, he said that the proposal was for the disqualification of a member of a grama panchayat having more than two children after the law comes into force.

“ No citizen of the country should have any objection to the two-child norm. Many have misrepresented this provision. The proposal does not exempt any person having more than two children to contest the panchayat elections. However, there is also a provision reserving 50 % of the seats for women. This is not highlighted, “ Mr. Patel said.

Tenders have already been invited for the operation of maintenance of the eco-tourism resort at Bangaram island. “Liquor permits have been permitted only for tourists, ‘’ he said.

Mr. Patel, said that the Capital island of Kavaratti was included in the Smart City project. “ We have requested the Centre to include five more islands for tourism development. Thus, we can convert the small islands into world class villages, “ he said adding that five to six inhabited islands have been declared as towns as per 2011 Census of India.

Mr. Patel , who is also the Administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, said that he wished to fully develop Lakshadweep for the benefit of the islanders. “ I don’t know how long I will be there. But it doesn’t make any difference to me as long as I’m here till I receive orders from the President, “ he said.

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