Imphal-Jiri route back in focus
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 08 2010: Essential commodities and other goods needed in the State would be brought along NH 53 (Imphal-Jiribam road) under stringent security cover from May 11 even as several vehicles are stranded along both NH-39 and 53 .

Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Department has decided to send 100 trucks to Jiribam and Silchar with security escorts to bring oil, rice and other commodities from May 11, informed an official source.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has also stored Manipur's share of PDS items at Jiribam and Silchar.

A public rally in Tamei sub-division in support of NSCN (IM) general secretary Th Muivah's visit

The State Government has received information from the FCI that its share of PDS items may be ferried from Silchar.

Relevant authorities have also started repairing and checking Imphal-Jiribam section of NH 53 to see whether loaded trucks can travel along the route.

The Imphal-Silchar road was in the focus when ANSAM imposed economic blockade for nearly 45 days some years back and the same attention is beiing given on the route as passage of manipur-bound vehicles have been prohibited through Nagaland following police crackdown in Mao recently.

Development of NH-53 was strongly advocated from several quarters following frequent disruption to vehicles plying on the NH-39 .

It may be mentioned that ANSAM and other tribal organisations is yet to lift economic blockade on both the Highways protesting State Government's decision to go ahead with the ADC elections.

owing to alleged threat by some persons suspected to belong to an armed group over 300 Manipur-bound vehicles are stranded in between Loharijan and Khatkati of Assam.

Confirming report that many vehicles including oil tankers and bullet trucks (LPG carrier) are stuck in the Assam section of the national Highway 39, a driver speaking to The Sangai Express said the vehicles along with their operators have been staying along the route since the past 11 days.

It may be mentioned that apart from high tension in Mao area following outbreak of violence between supporters of NSCN (IM) general secretary Th Muivah and State police as well as imposition of economic blockade by the ANSAM movement of vehicles upto manipur had been disrupted.

Among the vehicles currently stranded in Assam there are nearly 50 oil tankers and 60 bullet tankers as well as large number of trucks carrying food items, said the driver.

A reliable source also informed that goods laden vehicles bearing registration number of Manipur are being prohibited from even parking near the nagaland border in Assam.

Suspected underground activists besides preventing entry of these vehicles through Nagaland Gate also disapproved parking of trucks on the road in assam-Nagaland border.

Consequent to vehicular movement along the national Highway fuel stock in the Chingmeirong Oil Depot of IOC has depleted severely.

An IOC source said the Oil depot has stock for only 2-3 oil tankers resulting in shut-down of many fuel outlets of the IOC as well as other companies.

Even though measures had been initiated by the Govt to check sale of petrol in the black-market, low stock in the Oil Depot and subsequent cessation of distribution has itself led to disappearance of petrol black-marketers from the street corners as was the common sight whenever there is fuel crisis.

It is informed that the few black-marketers still continuing their trade are charging Rs 150 for a litre of petrol whereas diesel of the same quantity cost Rs 120 .

Inspite of the crisis situation besieging the State following acute shortage of fuel there is still no specific plan to escort the vehicles stranded in Assam at the earliest.

However, when contacted Consumers Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Y Erabot asserted that the State Government has been working out a plan to bring oil tankers and other loaded vehicles through the Imphal-Silchar route of National Highway 53 within a few days.

in the meantime, our Jiribam correspondent Jacob Panmei has reported that truck loaded with food items was been stopped by some unidentified persons, who off-loaded the goods and set them on fire.

The incident took place near Leingangpokpi section of the NH-53, under Jiribam police this afternoon.

The truck (MN02/9596) is said to have been carrying 35 quintal of rice and other food items.

An FIR case has been registered in Jiribam police station.

It is also informed that about 15-20 loaded trucks are currently stranded in Jiribam area.