Fuel supply in Tripura is gradually improving with the repair of the NH 208(A) in Assam which acts as an alternate vehicular movement lifeline while repair work on NH 8 continues.
Kailash Bhati a fuel filling station owner said, “Road condition of the bypass has improved now and many fuel tankers are entering the state. For the last two days the situation has improved and the gathering has also decreased but still the rationing method started by the authority is on and we got little relief. More vehicles are coming and hopefully in two to three days it will become normal.”
Unlike the common scene that was witnessed for the past two months outside fuel filling stations of long queues of bikes, cars and other vehicles in capital Agartala and other parts of the state changes were noticed as most of the stations from Friday has petrol and diesel with tankers able to enter the state through the alternate route from Assam.
Shankar Avasti, a biker who got petrol in less than 20 minutes after standing in the queue, expressed that the situation has almost become normal as fuel is again available.
He moreover informed that the steps taken by the government like rationing and supply only after proper checking of relevant necessary legal papers of the vehicle along with putting stamp of the papers has been effective and reduced the gathering at the filling stations by panicked public and the black marketers.
Sankar said, “Earlier I had to wait for 4 hours to 5 hours in queue but today in less than 20 minutes I got petrol as it is available now. The checking and putting of seal in insurance for procuring petrol has been very effective and controlled black marketers. Today I got petrol of Rs 200 and in next two day I shall get again. People now do not need to wait for four hours like earlier for petrol and I even bought it at Rs 150 a litre from the black market as I have to run my bike and go to the orchard. Now those problems are not there and it is becoming normal.”
Normal life was badly affected due to fuel crisis in Tripura for the past two months as surface transport had totally stopped in and out of the landlocked state since due to incessant rain and poor maintenance the NH 08 the lone national highway connecting the state with India was cut off.
Thousands of loaded vehicles with food items, essential goods including fuel and gas were stranded in Assam’s Karimganj district week after week as around 10 to 20 km of the road had turned into muddy quagmires with knee-deep slush adjoining north Tripura, thus virtually snapping Tripura’s surface communication.
Taking a cue from the Delhi government, Tripura had introduced the “odd-even” system of plying of vehicles along with rationing of petrol and diesel. Several protests were also organised by annoyed bikers who despite waiting for several hours in queue did not get fuel.