Blockade, May 6 incident reduce Mao to a ghost town
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 25 2010: Consequent upon the total blockade launched against the State Government's ban on entry of NSCM (IM) General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah to Manipur, Mao people have been reeling under the impact of the blockade.

A spot survey conducted by The Sangai Express on May 24 found that Mao area has been hit by acute scarcity of essential commodities.

With the Mao bazar remaining shut for the last many days, almost all hotels which cater to the needs of drivers and bus passengers have also shut down.

Since the May 6 incident of Mao Gate, all shops and business establishments have been shut down.

Mao town, otherwise bustling with activities remains idle

Except for one pharmacy and a few shops run by non-Manipuris dealing in grocery items including rice, all other shops remained closed till yesterday.

With all inter-State bus service and movement of all kinds of vehicles through Mao suspended, all eateries and hotels bear a deserted look.

Talking to The Sangai Express, proprietor of Okay Hotel, Ashikho Mao said that all kinds of hotels have been seriously affected by the ongoing total blockade.

Earlier, each rice hotel of Mao Keithel sold around 100 plates of rice daily at the least.

But after the total blockade was launched, it was hard for a hotel to sell even 10 plates of rice.

Following suspension of transport service through Mao, almost all hotels have closed down.

The few remaining hotels have started serving non-local rice as local varieties of rice were no longer available.

Prices of all essential commodities have also shot up, Ashikho Mao said.

Local potato was also not available while imported potatoes have also become quite scarce.

Earlier each hotel sold rice and dishes of about Rs 6000 per day on the average at the rate of Rs 60 per plate of rice complete with gravy and dishes.

But with no customers, it has become hard to earn even Rs 600, he said.

A non-local who runs a grocery shop said that some essential food items like rice, dal etc were brought from Kohima.

However, prices of essential commodities have not escalated too high, he said.

According to Ashikho Mao, price of Parman rice has rose to Rs 24 from Rs 22 per kg.

Price of non-local variety of potato has increased to Rs 14 per kg from Rs 10 per kg and mussory dal to Rs 60 from Rs 50 per kg.

One fish-monger said that Mao Keithel was virtually shut down after the May 6 incident.

Nevertheless, Mao people who fled from their homesteads, frightened by the incident, have started returning to their homes.

As people cannot starve even as essential goods have become quite office, they have been buying goods of their needs from shops run by their acquaintances through the back door, he said.