Airlifting of essential commodities to be done, if necessary
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, May 13 2010: The state Government is likely to request the Centre to airlift lifesaving drugs and other essential commodities to recoup the shortage being faced by the people of the state because of the disturbances in procuring the items on surface transport.

A high level meeting convened by Chief Minister, O Ibobi today at 1pm at his office chamber, discussed the matter with the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Y Erabot, a highly reliable source said.

Top officials of the state government and central security establishments, Chief Secretary DS Poonia, Commissioners of Home and Commerce, DGP, Y Joykumar, GOC of 57 Mountain Division, Maj Gen DS Hooda, Inspector General of Assam Rifles (South), Maj Gen CA Krishnan, DIG of BSF, Joint Director of SIB and General Manager of IOC, Imphal among others attended the meeting, the source said.

Delay in materialization of the government's plan to transport essential commodities, life saving drugs and petroleum products on the national highway connecting the state with other states of the region other than NH-39 has worsened the stock positions of these items in the state.

The Government is considering transportation of these items on NH-53, it has not been translated yet into action.

Highly reliable sources said that the government is looking at using the NH-150 (Imphal-Churachandpur via Aizawl road) with security protection.

Meanwhile, an agency report said that the Manipur government on Thursday sought the help of Mizoram to transport essential commodities through its territory following a blockade of a key highway by Naga students.

"The Manipur government will made arrangements to import goods and essential commodities from other parts of India using the Silchar-Aizawl-Sinzawl-Churachandpur-Imphal surface route until the current situation is contained," a Mizoram government official told reporters.

The official said that senior officials of two states earlier talked over phone to finalise the arrangement.

Landlocked Manipur continues to reel under an acute shortage of food and other essentials following the indefinite economic blockade enforced by Naga tribal groups since May 6 .

In the meanwhile, in Imphal, the high level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, O Ibobi discussed the airlifting of the essential commodities for emergency purposes, the source said adding that the meeting also discussed the role of central paramilitary forces in the protection of NH-53 and 150 for swift passage of the goods trucks.

After the high level meeting, the Chief Minister also held another round of meeting with his Cabinet Ministers and reviewed the prevailing situation.

The meeting was part of routine review of the situation arising out of Muivah's proposed visit to the state.

The cabinet also discussed the status of the elections to the ADCs in the hill districts scheduled to be held on May 26 and June 2. In the meantime, Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, Dr S Budhichandra today discussed with the Chief Minister the matter of resignation of seven Naga MLAs in protest against the government's ban on Th Muivah visiting the state.

The Speaker has not yet given acceptance to the resignations of the seven Naga MLAs, sources said adding that the matter is likely to be settled in the next few days after the Chief Minister discussed the matter with the Council of Ministers.