With NH-39 boycott not very effective beyond Sekmai
Kangpokpi becomes a trade hub with lower prices

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 13 2010: Notwithstanding the fact that Imphal is both the administrative and commercial capital of the State, essential commodities are today cheaper at the township of Kangpokpi.

As such, small traders and shopkeepers have been procuring their merchandise from Kangpokpi.

Despite the standing resolution of the Transporters' and Drivers' Council Manipur not to take NH-39 route until and unless NSCN-IM stops collection of all kinds of taxes from vehicles travelling along the route and the Government of India compensates all those vehicles vandalised and destroyed, some goods carrier trucks have been plying along NH-39 .

According to Sekmai Police, more than 20 goods carrier trucks traversed along NH-39 towards Imphal daily on the average.

Sekmai police escorting goods laden trucks on NH-39-File picture

On July 10, 28 goods laden trucks came to Imphal, 25 trucks headed towards Imphal on July 11 followed by another 22 goods laden trucks on July 12 .

However, some of these trucks carrying essential commodities never reached Imphal.

They cut short their journey Senapati and Kangpokpi and unload the loads there.

As such, prices of essential commodities are cheaper at Senapati and Kangpokpi as compared to Imphal.

Subsequently, small traders and shopkeepers have been procuring their merchandise from Kangpokpi by hiring light vehicles like vans, Tata DI's etc.

Talking to this reporter in front of Sekmai police station this afternoon, a trader, who was coming back from Kangpokpi after procuring goods in a van packed to full capacity, said that prices of commodities were considerably lower at Kangpokpi than at Imphal.

At Kangpokpi, one Kg of dal (Kangtak) costs Rs 30, cooking oil costs Rs 880 per tin and Mao potato Rs 930 per bag.

Even as the State Government decided to provide Urea to farmers at Rs 400 per bag, the same item is being sold in black markets of Imphal at Rs 750 to Rs 770 per bag.

But Urea is available at Rs 670 per bag at Kangpokpi.

The price gets even lower if any one buys the fertilizer in bulk like one load of Tata DI or Tata Magic.

Consequent upon this price difference, several Tata DIs and Tata Magic's are seen transporting Urea from Kangpokpi towards Imphal everyday.

Whereas Urea brought along NH-53 were made to deposit at the Mantripukhri godown of the Agriculture Department, the same item was unloaded at Senapati and Kangpokpi if it is brought along NH-39 .

Whether there is any official monitoring while unloading Urea or not is not clear.

Only those trucks (carrying fertilizers) which reached Sekmai were escorted upto Imphal.

As chemical fertilizers are used in hill districts at the minimum level, Urea brought along NH-39 and unloaded at Senapati and Kangpokpi are being brought by valley farmers travelling all the way to Kangpokpi or Senapati at Rs 670 per bag.

Though some people have been openly monopolising transportation and sale of Urea along NH 39, Agriculture Department has not taken up any visible step so far.