TODAY -

State's woes concerns former Union Minister
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 18 2011: A former Union Minister hailing from Maharashtra has drawn the attention of central leaders, including the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to take immediate steps for ameliorating suffering of the people of Manipur as a consequence of the ongoing economic blockade.

The former Union commerce minister Mohan Dharia, is said to have apprised the central leaders and the Prime Minister to immediately address 'humanitarian crisis' gripping Manipur due to prolonged disturbance caused to transportation of essential items by blockade supporters.

The blockade came into force over two months back and problem besieging land-locked Manipur with regard to shortage of essential commodities was highlighted at a recent public event on 'crisis-like situation in Manipur' which was hosted by SARHAD, a Pune-based NGO.

Dharia had attended the meeting as a special dignitary.

At the invitation of the NGO, a team from Manipur has presented a detailed account of the unpleasant situation engulfing Manipur as a consequence of the economic blockade.

In his missive to the Prime Minister, the 87 year-old Dharia, who will be conferred the prestigious Indira Gandhi award for national integration on October 31, expressed irrelevancy of the honour in case the central Government could not resolve the economic blockade before the awards ceremony.

"There is no weightage in the award as long as Manipur continues to be cut off from the rest of the nation by the over two-month-long choking of the key supply routes," he mentioned.

The veteran politician's letters sent on October 16 is said to be addressed to the Prime Minister, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and deputy chairman of the Planning Commission Montek singh Ahluwalia urging them to find an amicable end to the situation in Manipur.

Dharia reportedly urged the PM, "let us resolve that the people of Manipur should enjoy the upcoming festivals in the state –Diwali, Ningol Chakkouba and Christmas with due credit to the urgent action of the central government led by you" .

"I count on you for your early action before the prestigious 26th Indira Gandhi National Integration award to be conferred on me," said Dharia, who has received the prestigious civil award Padma Vibhushan.

Dharia proposed immediate supply of petrol, diesel, LPG cylinders and other essential items through special wagons to Dimapur and from where it is to be shipped to Imphal and other areas of the State.

The government should supply certain essential commodities from their stores and simultaneously using the powers under the Essential Commodity Act, the government should supply the items by procuring from the producers, he suggested while pointing out that he had successfully done it during Janata regime when he was cabinet minister for civil supplies, jute, textiles, cooperation & commerce.

Dharia further pointed out on the need for appointing a special high level official empowered to take necessary action supply of essential supplies to Imphal and other areas in cooperation with the state government.

He also appealed to the agitating bodies to immediately lift the blockade.

It is worth mentioning that Dharia Mohan's deep concern for the people of Manipur came a couple of days after social worker Anna Hazare recommended team members Arvind Kejriwal and Akhil Gogoi to study the Manipur crisis for redressal.

In demand for creation of Sadar Hills district, the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee has been enforcing economic blockade on Imphal-Dimapur and Imphal-Silchar routes since August 1 .

Opposing the demand, this, the United Naga Council declared and had been imposing 'counter-economic blockade' on the said routes.


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