Goods train arrives at Jiribam railway station after a decade
More goods trucks arrive undisturbed
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, August 05 2010: After around 10 years, a goods train arrived at Jiribam railhead this evening as the Central government started taking initiative to deal with the artificial scarcity of food grains in the state due to uncertainty on the national highways.

Meanwhile, over 60 freight trucks crossed Mao gate today, on the second day of the 20-day economic blockade of UNC, which commenced on Wednesday, with tight security throughout the stretch of the NH-39 from Mao.

Informing that the first goods train arrived at Jiribam carrying 36 MT of essential commodities after a gap of around 10 years, Transporters' and Drivers' Council (TDC) said that the goods train arrived there as the Centre as well as the State government realized the stand of the TDC not to ply the NH 39 unless authorities make the NH 53 an accessible and all season road.

Briefing reporters at the TDC office at MG Avenue here, its president, H Ranjit reiterated that the apex body of all tranporters' associations was compelled to take the decision not to ply the Imphal-Dimapur section of NH 39 due to the excesses meted out by anti-social elements and extortion activities of Naga rebel outfits.

There is no change in the decision taken by the body till today, he clarified.

Acknowledging the decision of the TDC, the state and the Central governments have taken up the step to procure essential commodities by train upto Jiribam, Ranjit claimed adding that they have been pressing the authorities to allow lifting of goods of FCI from Jiribam.

The arrival of 36 MT capacity cargo train today at Jiribam railway station is in response to the TDC's strong pressure to the State and the Central governments, Ranjit said and claimed that it has shown that the TDC's stand has started yielding positive results.

The freight train will arrive at Jiribam railway station from Silchar via Rampur of Assam two times a week, and if essential commodities start arriving regularly, there will be space problems in the FCI godowns at Jiribam, he said stressing the need of construction of more godowns of FCI at Jiribam.

In the meantime, official reports said that a total of 60 loaded trucks including nine oil tankers and 15 mini trucks have crossed Mao gate today for Imphal along with security personnel of CRPF while another 127 empty trucks including 90 oil tankers headed towards Dimapur.

Apart from escorting the freight trucks all the way from Dimapur to Imphal on the NH-39, personnel of the CRPF, BSF and IRB are conducting round the clock patrolling, the official added.

On the other hand, even though around 500 loaded trucks with security escort had left Jiribam on NH-53 for Imphal, only 20 trucks arrived at Nungba, the midway of Imphal-Jiribam section of the NH-53 till today.

The trucks left Jiribam with escorts provided by 2nd MR personnel yesterday morning.

Twenty trucks arrived at Nungba were also stopped by the police there waiting for arrival of other behind them as well as considering the possible attack by protestors.

Besides the economic blockade of UNC, a student body in Tamenglong district is also imposing chakka bandh on NH-53 to register decry on the government decision to take out the highway maintenance works from BRTF and handover to PWD.