Fuel shortage in Manipur

Imphal, Oct 7 (ANI): People in Imphal are reeling under an acute fuel shortage for the past many days as a result of the recent economic blockade of the National Highway.

Thousands of two-wheelers, cars, trucks and buses have been queuing up at outlets across Manipur to receive their 'share' of fuel.

Fuel is being rationed by the State government's distribution system, and is available only at a few selected outlets in Manipur in limited quantity.

The ongoing crisis is being exploited by regional black marketers, who have hoarded fuel and are selling them at high prices, allege locals.

"I don't understand what type of game is being played by the government. They always claim that fuel is brought in regularly, but we do not find them distributed in the petrol pumps. Then, all available fuel is sold in the black-market. So we have to buy the fuel at exorbitant prices," rued Ibetombi Devi.

Earlier this year, the All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) had blocked the arterial highways around Manipur, cutting off the state from rest of India.

Consequentially, truck operators, including fuel tankers, refused to ply their vehicles along the National Highways (NH) 53 and 39.

Locals maintain that things would return to normal once the highways are cleared by the government.

"If the National Highways are cleared by withdrawing all the boycotts, and if the roads are repaired at the earliest, then the situation would improve. The time taken to bring petroleum here would be lessened, and normalcy will resume soon," said Ajit Singh.

According to local media reports, the cost of petrol has reached Rs. 120 to Rs. 150 a litre, and a filled gas cylinder is costing an exorbitant Rs. 1,500. (ANI)

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