Imphal: The Manipur government has taken
measures to transport essential items and other goods along
the Silchar-Jiribam-Imphal National Highway 53 due
to indefinite economic blockade on Dimapur-Imphal National
Highway 39, a government spokesman said on Tuesday.
Manipur Sports Minister and government spokesman N Biren
told mediapersons that the state cabinet yesterday discussed
the present situation arising out of economic blockade by All
Naga Students Association Manipur (ANSAM) and decided to bring
essential commodities from Silchar in south Assam to Imphal.
ANSAM had launched the blockade some three weeks ago to
protest against the state government`s proposal to hold
elections to autonomous district councils (ADC) in the hill
area on May 26 on the grounds that not enough monetary power
was given to the ADCs.
Biren said since there were some weak bridges along NH 53,
trucks would be restricted to load a maximum of 10 tons and
pointed out that petrol stock in the state would last for
seven to 10 days.
Regarding disturbances by some section of Naga
communities at Noney area along NH 53 blocking the road, Biren
said concerned district officials have been instructed to
negotiate with the agitators.
Meanwhile, prices of essential items have shot up due to
scarcity of essential commodities.
Official sources said normally between 250 to 300 trucks
loaded with essential items ply along the Imphal-Dimapur NH
39, which is considered to be the lifeline of Manipur,
but because of the blockade, no vehicles have plied along
this route for more than a week now.
They said earlier, loaded trucks were escorted by security
personnel from Manipur-Nagaland border at Mao gate to Imphal
but due to tension following NSCN (I-M) general secretary Th
Muivah`s attempt to enter Manipur last week, no vehicle plied
along this route.
Sources said trucks loaded with essential items and other
goods would be coming to Imphal from Silchar in the next few