Sadar Hills stir toll moves from torched trucks to prices of food
Source: The Sangai Express / Kh Jibanlata/N Lembisana
Imphal, August 10 2011:
As expected, the ongoing agitation related to demand for upgrading Sadar Hills to a full-fledged district has begun to trigger rise in prices of most essential commodities, not sparing even grocery items and locally available perishable goods (vegetables) .
With prices of essential goods sky rocketing, the State level Price Fixation Committee held a meeting today where MPP MLA O Joy and SPF spokesman N Biren were present.
Instructions were given to the traders to put up the price notice board for all to see.
apart from shortage of consumer items, oxygen stock at both Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Lamphelpat Shija Hospitals and Research Centre, Langol has reportedly depleted with the former medical centre suspending all routine operations since August 9 and the remaining stock reserved for emergency purposes only.
sources also informed that Shija Hospitals might face total exhaustion of oxygen after 2-3 days if the present situation remains unchanged.
With movement of vehicles on both the highways that connect landlocked Manipur to other parts of the country coming to a grinding halt for over a week now as a consequence of the ongoing economic blockade and general strike, traders at Khwairamband Keithel, the main commercial hub of the State have hiked prices of goods.
During a random survey conducted by The sangai Express it came to light that the Sadar Hills agitation has not only taken its toll on the stock position of life saving drugs and elongated queues at fuel outlets in the city but is steadily compelling consumers to pay more for the same goods they bought at a relatively cheaper rate before the agitation.
At some pockets of Khwairamband Keithel traders were found selling superfine variety of rice at Rs 17 per kilogram, an increase of Rs 4 .
While price of the staple food for the common people has gone up by 30.76 percent the increment is marginally less for the superior quality rice variety called Perman presently commanding Rs 25 per kg, Rs 2 more than a week back.
Compared to hiking of prices of cereal (kangtak) and sugar by Rs 5 each traders wily enough to have adequately stocked potato and onion are having bumper harvest for these items are being sold at Rs 22 and Rs 28 more respectively than their original prices.
On the otherhand, women fish-mongers were found attracting customers by reducing prices of local variety of fishes such as Rohu (Rau) and Grass-carp by Rs 20 each per kg.
Apart from unwillingness to take risk in view of the prevailing situation in the after-math of the recent blast at Sangakpham and the ongo-ing Sadar Hills agitation, the women vendors speculated fish farmers' apprehension of flooding for abundant release of local variety of fishes in the market for the fall in price.
The common people saving their hard-earned money for even crunching period cannot be ruled out for few buyers, they said.
However, price of some fish varieties brought from outside, including Sareng has more than doubled to Rs 320 per kg from Rs 200 some days back.
Understandably, the Sadar Hills factor has been claimed as reason for the hike.
Prices of green chilli, beans, cabbage and ladies finger, to name a few vegetable items have also been increased by double or more with marginal increase in price of almost all the perishable items being the norm at present.