No fuel in outlets, plenty in black market
Source: The Sangai Express / Panthoi Khaidem

Imphal, April 21 2010: With no sign of any let up yet in the ongoing economic blockade imposed by All Naga Students' Association Manipur (ANSAM) demanding the amendment of the 'unwanted' District Council Act, life in the State has been hit hard especially due to a stiff hike in the price of petrol in the black market.

Interestingly due to shortage of the fuel in petrol pumps many women are found to be engaged in selling petrol at roadside at the rate of Rs 70 a litre which has become a business for them to meet their daily requirement.

A woman petrol vendor said, "The price of petrol depends on the sources of the fuel itself" .

Motorists queue up at a petrol pump

If I get petrol directly from the pump I would sell it at Rs 55 per litre.

However, if the fuel is being purchased from other sources then the price of petrol a litre is even hiked to Rs 70," she added.

A petrol seller who does her business in the black market from 5.30 am to 7 pm can earn upto Rs 500 per day.

Although selling petrol is not a permanent job many women take up the job during imposition of bandh and economic blockade that results in shortage of fuel in the State.

During such spell of fuel shortage it is also learned that big shops strike a direct deal with the petrol pumps taking advantage of the situation to make some easy money.

Regarding the sale of petrol in the black markets, Imphal West district SSP, Kailun said, that they are planning to take up certain steps to control the black markets in coordination with the Directorate of Food and Civil Supply.

Explaining the role of controlling such markets, the SP said, although it is the duty of police department to maintain law and order, in matters like containing black markets, the FCS has greater responsibility.

However, the police department and FCS have decided to jointly launch a drive against such black petrol markets, he added.