200 trucks to be escorted along NH-53, CM informs Assembly
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 18: With the Naga Students' Federation spearheading the economic blockade and non-cooperation movement in Nagaland, the State Government is ready to escort empty trucks on NH-53 to fetch essential items from tomorrow.

Significantly, the route along NH-53 does not touch Nagaland at all and connects Imphal to Jiribam which is on the Assam border.

Responding to a call attention motion raised by FPM MLA L Ibomcha, the Chief Minister said, �Since the alternative lifeline of the State, NH-53, is now motorable, around 200 empty trucks would be escorted along this route and the same will be brought back with the goods�.

Referring to news paper reports, the FPM MLA said that 17 Imphal based transporters had announced that it would shut down its business owing to the economic blockade and the imposition of huge taxes by different organisations along NH-39.If this is actually translated into action, the woes of the people will be compounded, said the MLA and asked what steps the Government has taken up.

Quoting the reports, the MLA said that the transporters had set June 22 as the deadline for the Imphal consignees to lift their goods, after which the transporters will shut shop.

L Ibomcha also pointed out that NH-39 has become a favourite whip for agitators and suggested opening an FCS godown at Jiribam along NH-53.He also informed the House that prices of essential commodities have hit the ceiling.

Replying to the motion, Chief Minister O Ibobi said, �I have personally visited some of the transporters and confirmed the problems faced by them�.

On the indefinite economic blockade called by ANSAM since the midnight of June 19, the Chief Minister said, �We are making serious attempts to hold a dialogue with ANSAM and feelers have been sent.

We are also talking with our Naga colleagues to break the ice and pave the way for a talk�.

Acknowledging the difficulties faced by the common people due to the economic blockade, the Chief Minister assured the House that efforts will be taken up on a war footing to open NH-150 to provide yet another lifeline for the State.

The task of opening this stretch will be taken up during the current fiscal, if possible, added the Chief Minister.

On the exorbitant rates at which petrol and LPG are being sold in the black market, the Chief Minister said that strict instructions have been issued to check sale of petrol and LPG in the black market.

The Government will also compensate the losses suffered by vehicles during the current blockade as per the rules, assured the Chief Minister.