Diocese of Port Blair
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In a land area of 8,293 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the entire union territory of Andaman Nicobar Islands which consists of nearly 350 islands scattered in Bay of Bengal.

Andaman and Nicobar is an Union Territory. It comprises all of these islands in the Bay. Port Blair, a former British Penal settlement, named after Captain Blair of the East India Company, is the Capital of the Union Territory. It is connected both by air and sea to the mainland (Chennai and Kolkata) a distance of 1,300 kms.

Port Blair is the biggest town in the diocese. Garachama and Bambooflat are other towns in the diocese.

Population

356,152 is the total population. The population is a cosmopolitan group of Bengalis, Punjabis, Tamilians, Malayalis, Orissa, Chattishgarh, Jharkhand and a sprinkling from almost all the other states of India.

Language

Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Sadhri, Nicobarese, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu & English are the languages used in the diocesan territory.

History

The Andaman and Nicobar Mission was taken care of by the Archdiocese of Rangoon - Burma. After India became independent in 1947, the Holy See handed over the whole area of Andaman and Nicobar to the Archbishop of Ranchi. In 1965 at the request of the Archbishop of Ranchi the Andamans and Nicobar was handed over by the Holy See to the Pilar Fathers Pilar, Goa. On June 22, 1984, Pope John Paul II elevated it into a diocese and appointed Most Rev Alex Dias, S.F.X., once a priest here, its first Bishop.

Political

The City is managed by Corporation. The villages and small towns are administered by elected local bodies called Panchayats and municipalities respectively.

Transportation

The diocesan area is well connected in terms of transport infrastructure by Sea and Airways. The nearest airport is in Port Blair city.

Economy

Rupees 36,641 (USD802 as of February 2011) s the per capita income in the diocese territory.

Telecommunication

Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan area. The diocese is well connected by local cable TV networks.

Education

77.42 percent is the literacy rate in the diocesan territory.

Historic Cellular Jail: Port Blair was a penalty colony from 1858 - 1945

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