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Andaman Public Works Department

Andaman Public Works Department is the prime construction organization of the Andaman  & Nicobar  Administration.  The department  was set  up in 1957 with a Single  Division level establishment. Its first Principal Engineer was appointed  in 1959.  Since   then  the Department   has  brought  sea  changes  in  the construction  activities  in  the  Islands. The department  has been  mainly  entrusted with  the  work  of  providing  Infrastructural  support  for  the  people  of the Islands, other  departments  functioning   under  the  A  &  N  Administration  as  well  as  the departments functioning  under Ministries and autonomous bodies. The department serves the  people  of   Andaman  and Nicobar Islands  by  providing  drinking  water supply, roads  and  bridges,  housing etc.  The  APWD undertakes   the construction and  maintenance  of residential  and  office  accommodation for various departments under  Andaman and Nicobar  Administration as  well as  the buildings for Hospitals, Health Centers,  Schools, Colleges, Libraries &  Stadiums etc.          

               In the past 47 years of its existence, the department through the sheer acumen of the Engineers, Architects & Town Planner has successfully completed a large number of construction projects surpassing difficulties encountered on account of scarcity of materials and man power by skillful management in execution of the works by implementing development schemes during the various Five Year Plans. During the passage of time, it has made strides in the technical, methodological and material use in construction activities. The works in initial stages were carried out primarily for the people in South Andaman & the Nicobar Islands. The South Andaman was basically inhabitated by the convicts of British Era, who were freedom fighters and forced to settle here.

               Old buildings viz. Cellular jail, Raj Niwas, Commissioner’s Bunglow, few other Bunglows (presently residence of Chief Secretary, IGP, DIGP etc.) have been maintained by carrying out necessary repairs and renovations from time to time. Historical structures at Ross Island, the then Head Quarters of British Raj in the Island, got    Practically destroyed during the earthquake of 1942 with a Magnitude of 8.2 on Richter scale and hence were abandoned. That year had seen the worst Earthquake recorded in the Islands so far. All the Brick structures except the Cellular Jail were severely or moderately damaged. Some of the damaged structures have been retrofitted and refurbished by APWD in order to maintain their original character

     Andaman Public Works Departments expanded from one division which existed up to 1957 into a full fledge circle with four divisions. In order to deal with the increased volume of work in the third five year plan two more division namely North Andaman construction division and Marine works division were opened during the year 1961 which headquarters at Mayabunder and  Car Nicobar respectively. In all the following six division were in promotion during the year under one principle.      

Construction division (marine works ) Car Nicobar ( opened in May 1961)

The PWD activities in this territory were spread over many Islands and apart from man power were dependent on two essential factors namely transport and materials. The position of all three factors were always short of requirement at any point of time.

            The Long monsoon in Andamans usually  leave a short working season of 4 to 5 months in a year and is thus a great implement to construction works.

             

        Later, some settlements were established in various Islands of Andaman & Nicobar by the Govt. of India for immigrants from the erstwhile East Pakistan in 1965 and from Bangladesh during 1972. Thereupon, A & N Administration furthered the activities of the department in Middle Andaman, North Andaman, Little Andaman and other smaller Islands to cater to the infrastructural needs of the settlements 

        Earlier almost all the construction of buildings and bridges were done using abundantly available local timber. Plain Cement Concrete was used only for building floors and other small purposes. This was primarily due to the difficulties faced in transportation of cement during those days