Erabot brings back stranded vehicles, wins people's heart
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 22 2010: Much to the relief of the entire population of Manipur, around 200 vehicles which were stranded for the last many days at Jiribam and different places along NH 53 have been brought to Imphal safe and sound under the captaincy of CAF & PD Minister Yumkham Erabot today.

Deservedly, Erabot and his handful of security personnel who escorted the large of number of vehicles were accorded a hero's welcome, complete with showers of flowers and band display.

From New Keithelmanbi to Khwairamband Keithel to Palace Gate, people lined up all along the roads and shouted slogans like "Erabot is Manipur's hero", "Erabot is most concerned with welfare of Manipuri people" etc.

Different facets of people welcoming Consumer Affairs, Food and Public distribution Minister Y Erabot and truck drivers.

After putting up last night at Jiribam, Erabot and his convoy of goods and passenger carriers embarked on their epoch-making journey towards Imphal at about 7.30 this morning.

Leading from the front, Erabot was at the head of the convoy of around 290 vehicles which consisted of gas bullets, petrol/kerosene tankers, LPG and other goods carriers.

Erabot and his team were assisted by troops of Assam Rifles, CRPF and BSF who were on ROP duty at different points along the highway.

Besides enthusing confidence to the transporters, Erabot provided the much needed succour to the wearied drivers, their assistants and passengers.

The journey was halted for about 30 minutes at Keimai where debris of a landslide were blocking the highway.

The convoy soon resumed their journey after a team of BRTF stationed there cleared some portions of the debris using dozer.

However, even as around 230 vehicles went past the landslide spot, 60 vehicles could not make their way through the debris.

Subsequently, they stayed behind.

Meanwhile, it is reported that the vehicles staying behind have left Keimai and are expected to reach Imphal late tonight.

As the convoy reached a spot between Noney and Tupul, suspected blockade supporters pushed and threw down boulders and petrol bombs causing some damages to a few vehicles.

Except this incident, the convoy which reached New Keithelmanbi at around 5.30 pm did not encounter any serious impediment or obstruction.

Y Erabot and his team were taken by total surprise when they were greeted by a large number of people belonging to different communities at New Keithelmanbi.

They garlanded Erabot and hailed him as the true leader of Manipur.

The air reverberated with praises of Erabot.

Coincidentally, a public session of the Manipur Pradesh Trinamool Congress was underway at new Keithelmanbi when Minister Erabot ahead of the vehicles reached there.

Trinamool Congress volunteers and president Kim Gangte welcomed the Minister.

Overwhelmed by the public reception accorded to him, a visibly emotional Erabot said 'I have come with a message'.

The Minister contended that vehicles unable to pass through NH-53 had nothing to do with condition of the road or bridges but due to non-provision of adequate security escort.

Disclosing that Central Government had enquired on the state of the Imphal-Jiribam section of NH-53, the Wangkhei Assembly Constituency representative conceded that he was not aware of what reply Government of Manipur had conveyed to the Centre.

The Minister also asserted that as he had personally assessed the situation a detailed report would be soon forwarded to the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.

He further pointed out that safe arrival of vehicles today along the Imphal-Jiribam route testifies condition of the route.

Passengers of three buses, that arrived ahead of the trucks conveyed relief and satisfaction upon returning home and hailed the Minister for his outstanding spirit.

scenes of heart-touching reception were also witnessed at Moidangpok, Khumbong, Yurembam, Patsoi, Langjing, Takyel, Tera, Sagolband and Wahengbam Leikai.

Men, women, elders, youngsters and even children were seen lining up the roads enthusiastically to welcome Erabot and his team.

Local people of these localities also shouted slogans like, "Erabot, you are the son of the soil", "Long live, Erabot" etc.

One citizen was so impressed by Erabot's dedication to the national cause and selfless service that he prostrated before Erabot touching his feet.

Many people were seeing wiping off tears of joy.

One father bringing his young son before Erabot advised to emulate Erabot.

The magnitude and enthusiasm shown by the people to Erabot today eclipsed the historic reception accorded to Ngangom Dingko and Mary Kom when they came back to their motherland after winning gold medal in Asian Games and the 4th World Boxing Championship title respectively.

Erabot and his team were also accorded similar hero's welcome at Palace Gate, Nongmeibung and Khurai.

On the other hand, a team of commandos led by Imphal West SDPO waited for the convoy at New Keithelmanbi to take the oil tankers present in the convoy to 2nd IRB campus at Khuman Lampak.

Meanwhile, transporters have conveyed gratitude to the Government of Manipur for ensuring safe arrival of loaded trucks earlier stranded at Assam areas and Jiribam side.

Speaking to newspersons at the MG Avenue office president of Manipur Truck Owners Welfare Association H Ranjit said drivers and their assistants had ensured severe inconveniences as they had been stranded at various places of Assam's Khatkati, Bokajan, Silchar and Manipur's Jiribam since May 3.He conveyed that Transport Minister L Jayantakumar was initially appraised on the plight of the transport operators and the matter was subsequently placed before the Chief Minister.

Ranjit said the State authorities were urged to ensure that while escorting back the stranded trucks concern of people residing along the highways be accorded top priority.

On behalf of the Association, he affirmed that transporters are willing to ferry goods whenever the Government gives the clearance.

On the otherhand, several organisations have lauded Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Y Erabot for his indomitable spirit and effort of leading goods laden trucks from Jiribam to Imphal.

hailing effort of the Minister as a heroic act, Kangla Transport Association said the State would be self content if Manipur has more Ministers like Erabot.

Citizens' Club, Soibam Leikai while praising Erabot observed that the Minister has taken up steps understanding the pulse of the masses.

Praising the Minister, Lilong Arapti Social Advancement Club (LASAC) suggested upgrading NH-53 so that essential items can be brought through this route.

Environment and Economic Management Association, Keishampat proclaimed Minister Erabot as the 'second' Lamyanba Irabot.

Lauding Erabot, Maharaja Mongyamba Multipurpose Livestock-cum-Agricultural Social Forestry Co-Op Society Ltd opined that the present imbroglio prevailing in the State might not have happened if all the 60 MLAs are courageous like Minister Erabot.