Food scarcity hits State
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 08 2010: Consequent upon prolonged economic blockade imposed along National Highways coupled with the violent stand off at Mao Gate over the proposed visit of Th Muivah to Manipur, Super Fine variety of rice is now unavailable at Khwairamband market.

Prices of other varieties of rice and other food items have soared up giving a serious blow to the common people.

A field survey conducted by The Sangai Express at Khwairamband market found that the one kilogram of indigenous varieties of rice cost Rs 23 while kerosene was sold at Rs 40 to 45 per litre.

Potato costs Rs 15-20 per Kg.

In the morning, Super Fine variety of rice was available in some shops at Rs 960 per bag of 50 Kg capacity which costs Rs 900 only three/four days back.

But in the afternoon, not a single bag of Super Fine rice was available in all the shops of Dharamsala and Nagamapal.

However, Padma variety of rice was available at Rs 1030 to Rs 1050 per bag of 50 Kgs.

Sugar which earlier costs Rs 35 to 38 per Kg reached Rs 40 per Kg today.

Price of onion jumped by Rs 13 per Kg from Rs 15 to Rs 28.Price of potato increased from Rs 10 per Kg to Rs 15Rs 18 .

One Kg of garlic now costs Rs 70 which earlier was Rs 60 to Rs 65 .

Price of betel leaves soared to Rs 200 per phai from Rs 100.Three chicken eggs cost Rs 20 while three duck eggs cost Rs 50 .

While oil pumps shut for the last many days, diesel is available in the black market Rs 80 to Rs 120 per litre.

Petrol was sold at Rs 120 to Rs 150 per litre.

The price of domestic LPG has rose to Rs 800 to Rs 1000 per cylinder.

Consequent upon the hike in prices of petrol and diesel, auto-rickshaw fares were doubled from the earlier rates.

Number of inter-district buses as well as private vehicles have also been substantially reduced.

One Ibetombi who came to Khwairamband market for shopping food items said, "I came to purchase food items and other essential commodities.

I have bought some cereals but I cannot afford onion.

The price has soared up to Rs 30 per Kg" .

Advocate Sumitra Kamei who was buying things at a grocery shop decried the uncontrolled hike in prices of essential commodities which she said was due to artificial reasons.

"It is unfortunate nobody take it as an issue", she lamented.

Retail rice dealers at Khwairamband Keithel sold rice at Rs 24/25 per Kg which was earlier sold at Rs 22 per Kg .

One retail rice dealer Binodini wondered, "how could the common people survive, big shops hoarding stocks of rice for profit thereby creating scarcity of staple food item is highly condemnable" .

Notably, the UNC and ANSAM launched an indefinite blockade along NH 39 and NH 53 since April 12 demanding deferment of the ADC elections until the ADC Act 2008 is amended.

In the meantime, a stand off broke out at Mao Gate over the Cabinet decision not to allow entry of NSCN(IM) General Secretary Th Muivah into Manipur.

Following the death of two youngsters in police action to control an agitating mob, all kinds of vehicular movement along National Highways have been disrupted resulting in the present scenario of food scarcity.