TODAY -

Dry petrol pumps, wet black market Fresh round of fuel shortage
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: April 23 2015 -



No blockade, no highway bandh, yet petrol pumps are dry again.

Not surprisingly, fuel is available aplenty in the black market, a fact underlined by the numerous roadside shops selling petrol at inflated rates.

Rs 100 or so for a litre of petrol in the black market and this should tell a significant story of how some elements stand to gain by fuel scarcity.

Nothing new here, for Manipur has witnessed such a state many times earlier.

The story is the same, a story which the people have been forced to face numerous times in the past.

The Government is quiet, acting as if everything is okay, while a few ‘enterprising’ businessmen are set to milk the people and fatten their bank balance.

Again, not a voice of protest has been raised from the numerous pressure groups that one sees here.

It is as if everything is okay and people will continue to survive and go on living. Something has to give.

For too long, the people have had to face the ignominy of such a scarcity.

No overnight queues at the petrol pumps so far, but if the situation persists longer, then there is every likelihood of such a state returning to make a farce of everything that the Government stands for.

A land locked State. Therefore the roadways are the only means of transporting the essential goods from outside the State.

It is not only overnight queues at petrol pumps that one may see, if the situation persists, for there is also the distinct possibility of life saving drugs running out of stock.

What would happen to those needing their daily dose of hypertension medications, the diabetic patients etc.

Does this mean that patients and those in need of daily medications will have to line up outside pharmacies ? Is the Government waiting for such a day to arrive ?

Such a situation cannot exist in a vacuum. A situation has to be created for such a state to happen, that too regularly.

The economics of such a situation may not be too hard to fathom. Such a situation serves the interest of the few who stand to financially gain.

Obviously there are bound to be big players in creating such a situation. This is where the need to look beyond the road side sellers becomes important.

And those important elements can only be people who are well connected with those sitting in the corridors of power.

Influence and money. Two important ingredients at work here to promote such a situation.

The more acute the situation, the longer the petrol pumps run dry, the fatter will be the bank balance of these elements.

The onholy nexus between the high and powerful and those looking out to gain a few rupees more by creating such a scarcity should be vividly clear at all the empty and dry petrol outlets as well as the burgeoning fuel black market.

It is for this very reason why the Government cannot afford to sleep over the matter.

The dry petrol pumps will not hit them, for they are influential and powerful enough to get their daily quota of fuel.

But it is about the common people that one is talking about here.

Any Government worth its salt should have cracked the whip a long time back and try to rein in the activities of the fuel cartel, who are out there to milk the situation and get richer every time there is a round of fuel scarcity.



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