August 18, 2011 2:56:25 am
With the economic blockade on National Highway-2 (erstwhile NH-39) in the Kangpokpi sub-division of Senapati district in Manipur turning into a total bandh,the hill state is facing an acute shortage of essential items,while the prices of goods available are sky-rocketing.
The economic blockade,launched by the Sadar Hill District Demand Committee (SHDDC) on August 1 was converted into a total bandh last week,and a stern warning issued by the state government to call it off by August 15 has fallen on deaf ears.
At least three persons have died and several trucks have been set on fire on the highway since the blockade began. The agitators have also set ablaze several government buildings,including a primary health centre,a sub post office,a school inspectors office and a portion of the additional deputy commissioners office at Kangpokpi.
Official sources in Imphal said no vehicular traffic has been moving on NH-2 to Manipur from the rest of the country through Assam and Nagaland,which in turn has put a full-stop to supplies on that route.
Trucks and tankers however are plying on NH-53 from southern Assam,but heavy rains and increased traffic have damaged the road in recent days, an official said.
Normally,between 250 to 300 trucks carry essential commodities and other items including medicine and fuel daily to Manipur on N-H2.
While about 97 kilometres of NH-2 pass through Senapati district,about 40 kilometres,which pass through Kangpokpi subdivision which the SHDDC wants to be declared as a district,have remained closed for more than a fortnight. Agitators have dug up portions of the highway apart from felling trees and dumping boulders to prevent movement of vehicles.
Meanwhile,several organisations appealed to the SHDDC on Wednesday to relax the bandh in order to facilitate movement of life-saving drugs into the state capital as well as different district towns.
The state is facing a serious shortage of medicine including life-saving drugs,and we appeal to the agitators to at least allow trucks to carry those to Imphal, said P H Premananda,a spokesman of the Northeast Peoples Organisation (NEPO) in Imphal.
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