High level Central team to meet Chamling

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Gangtok, Jun 23 (UNI) A high-level Central team, comprising Union Secretaries of Home, Defence, Petroleum and Indian Oil Corporation, will be reaching here tomorrow to take stock of the problems in Sikkim following the frequent bandhs in neighbouring Darjeeling district.

The team will be calling on Chief Minister Pawan Chamling besides holding a meeting with the state Chief Secretary and senior state government officials on the latest situation, an official release said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister today reviewed the stock position of essential commodities in the state and to devise means to replenish the depleted stock of various items.

During the meeting, the concerned authorities apprised the Chief Minister of the stock of essential items including petroleum products.

Petrol and diesel stock was enough to last only 2 days, while kerosene oil stock remained only for 3 days. However, food grains in state godowns were enough to last 2 months, it was revealed during the meeting.

Sikkim had been cut off for six days from Tuesday following the NH 31 A blockade during the indefinite Darjeeling hills bandh called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).

GJM had lifted the indefinite bandh for 60-hours from yesterday to allow movement of essential commodities in Darjeeling and along NH 31 A, the lifeline of Sikkim.

Following the breather, Chamling directed the concerned officials to take advantage of the bandh relaxation and to arrange stocks of essential commodities to its full capacity. He also asked the officers to work out the modalities to put the operational mechanism in ground to ensure continuous flow of essential commodities even after the resumption of bandh, the release stated.

The Chief Minister in a telephonic talk with the Union Home Minister yesterday requested him to take all necessary steps, including options of Army or paramilitary force, at the earliest to ensure supplies of essentials to the state.

Chamling also demanded that explicit and workable instructions should be passed to the West Bengal by the Union Home Minister and Army in this regard.

UNI BG KK DB/KLC1759

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