Manipur blockade makes life miserable for local residents

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Imphal, May 27 (ANI): People in Manipur are suffering immensely due to the continuing economic blockade that started over a month ago even though it was temporarily lifted.

Shortages of essential commodities and subsequent rise in prices of indispensable commodities have adversely affected every household in the State.

There has been a price rise of all the essential commodities since the enforcement of economic blockade by certain Naga groups, along the National Highway 53 and National Highway 39.

Both the highways act as lifeline for Manipur.

It is hard to even get cooking gas whose prices have gone beyond Rs. 1,000. People are compelled to use wood for cooking purposes.

"Nowadays, we are using bicycles to commute, as we can't afford petrol since the prices are quite high and also some of the petrol pumps have no stock," said Nongmaithem Kerani, a local resident.

"Due to steep rise in petrol prices, the public transport operators have also hiked the fares. Our children rely on this mode of conveyance and now it is a problem. Indeed, expenses have shot up beyond our means," said Nongmaithem Enoubi, a local resident, Nourem Leikai, Imphal

Rose's family is another such example. It stays in another locality and is affected by the brunt of ongoing economic blockade.

"Prices of all the essential commodities like rice, dal and others that we depend on, are increasing. We are worried. We won't be able to endure all these trends for long," said Rose, a local resident of Kakwa, Manipur

Emergency services like hospitals have also been severely hit, as life saving drugs are exhausting fast.

"My staff is having a difficult time to come to hospital for duty. Passenger buses had stopped plying for one week or so due to unavailability of petrol and diesel. Oxygen is being filled in cylinders under high pressure," said Dr.Y.Mohen, Superintendent at RIMS Hospital.

Even though, the government has initiated the task of airlifting essential commodities from outside the State, the stock won't last long.

Meanwhile, some goods-laden trucks and passenger buses, which were earlier stranded along the NH-53, have been escorted upto Imphal by security forces.

Blockade supporters attacked and damaged some trucks in one of these convoys.

"Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution took the decision to transfer all the PDS items through NH 53. Accordingly, we have contacted the Food Corporation India authority, they agreed and we decided to start lifting these items," said Yumkham Erabot, Manipur's Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution."When we were just about to reach Noneh, suddenly, around four to five youngsters emerged on the scene and began pelting stones, damaging the NRL oil tanker. Leaving behind the vehicles, we ran about one and half kilometre to call the CRPF personnel for help," said Prem Singh, an oil tanker driver.

Meanwhile, the Centre is making efforts to normalise situation in the State.On their part, the local residents across Manipur are looking forward with hope that peace, harmony and prosperity will return to the region soon. (ANI)

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