After 4 months, State on recovery route
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 12 2010: After more than 4 months of rationing fuel, buying a filled LPG cylinder for Rs 1500 in the black market and escalating prices of all essential commodities, situation in Manipur is gradually improving as essential commodities along the Dimapur-Imphal section of National Highway-39 have started flowing in smoothly, thanks to the tight security provided by Central para-military forces.

In fact the situation has improved to the extent that the Government has suspended the rationing of fuel and sale of petroleum products in the open has started at the fuel outlets from yesterday (August 11) .

CRPF men providing security to goods trucks headed for Imphal

While prices of food stuff like pulses, onion, eggs and potatoes have gradually come down, there is no change in the price of LPG in the black market, with one filled LPG cylinder costing around Rs 1700 .

"Yesterday I could not buy fuel from the outlet as the queue was too long but today the line was somewhat shorter and I managed to buy ten litres of petrol for my car after joining the line for about an hour only, saving Rs 500 in the process," said Tomba Sharma, an Imphal resident today afternoon.

Analysts said the price of commodities will revert to its normal rate only when the stock position improves.

Following instructions from the Centre, CRPF personnel have started escorting goods trucks along NH-39, the main lifeline of the State since the United Naga Council (UNC) began its 20-day economic blockade along this route as well as on NH 53 (Imphal-Silchar route), which in any case is not in a motorable condition following landslides at some points with waist high slush on the road.

The 20 days economic blockade started from August 4 .

State police personnel along with the Central forces have been put on sharp vigil at various strategic areas along the two highways.

A few days back, Home minister P Chidambaram informed the Rajya Sabha that the Centre was prepared to provide security for private vehicle convoys and sufficient security forces have also been positioned on the highways.

Over 200 loaded vehicles including 23 fuel tankers, four LPG bullet tankers, 167 trucks loaded with essential commodities, baby food and grocery items coming from Dimapur reached Imphal via NH-39 under heavy CRPF escorts today.

"Around 3.30 pm, 162 empty trucks moving towards Dimapur also left Mao gate in Senapati district along the same route," said a senior police officer.

On the other hand improvement works along NH-53, the alternative lifeline of the State, is gearing up momentum.