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Citizenship Act protests: Fuel shortage hits northeastern States

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A few States have started rationing petrol and diesel

IMPHAL: The burgeoning agitations in Assam have caused a shortage of fuel for vehicles in the northeastern States since Assam is the supplier.

Some States have started rationing petrol and diesel from Saturday afternoon. On the other hand, roadside fuel vendors are doing roaring business by selling at extortionate prices.

So far, there is no report of arresting the illegal vendors or trying to plug the source of fuel. People in the know said unscrupulous employees of petrol pumps were siphoning off the same to the illegal vendors for personal gains.

Officials of the Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution department are have appealed to people not to resort to panic buying of fuel since there was enough stock. However, the vehicle owners have not paid any heed. Some of them said that the people of Assam were readying for a long-drawn confrontation.

With curfew imposed at new areas and people launching more violent agitations, there is little possibility for the oil tankers from other States to move fuel from Assam.

Reports said some traders have started smuggling petrol from Myanmar to sell in Manipur at huge profit. Since there is no reliable public transport system managed by the government in Manipur, most of the students, government employees and others depend on their own two-wheelers and cars, with the result that consumption of fuel is exceptionally huge.

Consumer Affairs Food and Pubic Distribution Minister in Manipur Karam Shyam has been attending office once in a week in bicycle. His security guards escort him in bicycles after some newspapers pointed out that more fuel will be consumed if he is escorted in vehicles.

Official sources told The Hindu on Saturday that prices of all consumer items from Assam had been jacked up and feared that the prices will rise further if the Assam agitations continue. One plate of 30 eggs, which is sold at ₹125 in Delhi, is now sold at ₹240 in Manipur. Though pork, fish and chicken are mostly locally supplied, prices have been hiked as other items have to be brought from or via Assam.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 7:59:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/citizenship-act-protests-fuel-shortage-hits-northeastern-states/article30304893.ece

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