Convoy of goods trucks heads for Imphal on NH-53
In all, 306 trucks including 68 oil tankers will reach Imphal today
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, May 21 2010: Within moments of the Commissioner, FCS, P Vaiphei withdrawing his orders that all the goods trucks stranded in Jiribam and Silchar should come to Imphal via Aizawl, Mizoram and Churachandpur on Guite Road this morning, a convoy of 306 goods trucks including 68 oil tankers had left Jiribam and Silchar for Imphal on NH-53 .

Reports received from the convoy and Jiribam said that as the convoy was nearing Keiphundai around 10 am today, an iron plate from a bridge was found displaced, and also a landslide had occurred on the highway.

Because of the obstructions, the convoy of goods trucks and oil tankers was delayed for some time.

People queueing to get 5 kgs of rice at a mobile distribution point in Imphal East

After repairing the bridge and the landslide affected area, the convoy has reached Barak, reports received late tonight informed.

There are 68 oil tankers carrying petrol, diesel and kerosene, 45 LPG bullet tankers (bulk LPG carriers), 170 trucks carrying assorted commodities, eight mini trucks and also a number of passenger vehicles in the convoy.

Reports from the spot said that the drivers of the carriers did not agree to follow the order of Commissioner Vaiphei.

Even without the security escorts, the drivers were determined to take NH-53 for Imphal, and were ready to leave immediately this morning.

Meanwhile, information was received that the Government has cancelled the previous order, and allowed the vehicles to come to Imphal on NH-53.After receiving the information, the convoy of trucks, oil tankers and others left Jiribam for Imphal on NH-53 under the security escort of 4th IRB personnel, who had been camping at Jiribam since May 19 .

Reports further said that there were several landslides on the highway.

In passing the affected areas after repairing, and also several hundreds of vehicles passing the many weak bridges, a lot of time was taken.

Unless any or some of the vehicles happen to break down on the way, the convoy is expected to reach Imphal by tomorrow evening.

Personnel of BSF and CRPF are taking care of security measures in sensitive places.

The security personnel are conducting ROP at every curve of the highway.

Meanwhile, Minister of Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution, Y Irabot left Imphal for Jiribam this morning without informing and obtaining permission from the Chief Minister and the Home Department.

He is being accompanied by only ten security personnel along with four Personal Security Officers (PSOs) and a team of selected media-persons on his journey to Jiribam.

He has reached Jiribam safely.

Other security personnel on the highway were apparently surprised to see the Minister coming on NH-53 unannounced.

The Minister found two trucks carrying cement, coming towards Imphal from Jiribam at Barak.

Minister Irabot stopped and talked to the drivers of the two trucks for a short while and encouraged them.

He also found many trucks heading toward Imphal from Jiribam near Keiphundai.

He talked to the drivers for some time and praised them for coming without any fear on the highway.

On reaching Jiribam this evening, Minister Irabot met ADC Jiribam, Y Iboyaima and officials of IOC and FCS, and have discussions with them on the present situation.

The Minister also met and talked with the members of Meira Paibi organisations of Jiribam, who were keeping a vigil on the FCS godown there throughout day and night.

The Minister appealed to the Meira Paibis to withdraw their counter economic blockade stopping transport of rice from Jiribam to Tamenglong district as the goods trucks have already started plying the Imphal-Jiribam road.

The womenfolk expressed their willingness to lift their agitation of counter economic blockade.

Minister Irabot told the reporters at Jiribam that he had not sought permission from the Chief Minister nor the Home Department for his journey to Jiribam on NH-53.He wanted to know how a few people took the decision of ordering the trucks to take the extremely long highway from Silchar via Aizawl in Mizoram and Guite road via Churachandpur.

He also wanted to see for himself how was the condition of NH-53 .

He said, the condition of NH-53 is okay, and there won't be much problem in transporting heavy goods on the highway.

He would send a report of his journey to the Centre leaders, he said adding that he will leave Jiribam tomorrow morning and reach Imphal along with the convoy.