The people of sleepy Lazu town in the troubled district, the main corridor for insurgents to cross over from Myanmar, live in abject poverty as the land is not suitable for growing crops, the sources said.
With their foodstock exhausted, the villagers were solely dependent on the rations provided by the state. The government had approved 16 relief sorties for Lazu circle on June 23 but the actual dropping of PDS items could only materialize on Wednesday, mainly due to inclement weather, sources said.
So far only 4 sorties, out of the 16 approved, could be carried out, the sources said.
However, because of the delay in dropping of PDS items, the Tirap district administration and Food and Civil Supplies department had started transporting rations by head load as immediate relief, sources said.
A massive landslide blocked the Khonsa Lazu road near Pongkong village about 24 km from Lazu since May 20.
In spite of the best efforts by the BRTF with help from the Army, the blockade could not be cleared, sources said.
According to BRTF sources, it will take months to reopen the road because of the magnitude of the blockade.
As per conservative estimates, the total cost of air sorties to feed Lazu circle per month will be around Rs 55 lakh while Rs 20 lakh will be incurred in transporting PDS items as head load from the FCI base depot to Lazu circle, the sources said.