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No crisis of essential commodities, says Mizoram Minister

Damaged vehicles belonging to security force at the site of the clashes at Lailapur on the Assam-Mizoram border, in Cachar district, in Assam’s Barak Valley on July 27, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The "economic blockade" by people of Assam's Barak Valley is unlikely to hit hard the supply of essential commodities to Mizoram as before because the State government has facilitated the transportation of oil, cooking gas and other items, including rice, from two other neighbouring states, Mizoram Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister K. Lalrinliana said.

Apart from Assam, Mizoram shares inter-state borders with Manipur (95 km) and Tripura (66 km).

Watch | What is Assam-Mizoram border conflict?

Mr. Lalrinliana said that the State government has begun transporting petrol and diesel from Tripura from Wednesday, July 28.

The Hindu Explains | What triggered the unrest on the Assam-Mizoram border

"Some oil tankers are expected to arrive in Aizawl from Tripura by Friday. We will also send seven oil tankers and another four trucks to transport LPG from Agartala on Friday," he told PTI on Thursday.

He said that the Mizoram government has reached an agreement with authorities of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) in Tripura to transport rice to the state.

"As of now, we have sufficient rice stocks for at least three months. Other essential commodities are also coming in and some traders from Tripura have already entered Mizoram," he said.

He said that the state government is currently in talks with the Manipur government to facilitate the transportation of essential commodities, especially LPG and fuels.

Mizoram is currently under lockdown due to COVID-19.

Mr. Lalrinliana said that there is no report of a crisis of essential commodities in the state thus far despite the blockade staged in neighbouring Assam. There is no bandh or blockade in Mizoram, and heavy trucks and other vehicles manned especially by non-tribals are uninterruptedly moving towards Assam, he said.

He said that no vehicles have entered the state from Assam for the past two days.

The Minister said that the State government is making massive efforts to ensure that people don't face a crisis of essential commodities.

Home Ministry's intervention sought

Earlier on Wednesday, the Mizoram government had written to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), seeking its intervention to lift the economic blockade on National Highway 306 in Assam. NH 306 is the lifeline of Mizoram linking the northeastern state with the rest of the country through Assam's Silchar.

"Unknown miscreants from Assam have destroyed and removed railway tracks at Mohammedpur and Ramnathpur railway stations in Assam's Hailakandi district, the only railway line connecting Bairabi railway station in Mizoram's Kolasib district," the letter also said.

However, Assam denied that there was an economic blockade in the state.

The Mizoram Merchant Association (MIMA), an umbrella body of 25 organisations, on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention for immediate construction of uprooted railway tracks in Assam that links to Mizoram.

On Wednesday, a 12-hour bandh was observed in Assam's Barak Valley comprising three districts — Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj — in protest against the killing of six police personnel and a civilian from Assam in a violent clash over a border dispute on Monday.

The Assam government on Thursday issued a travel advisory asking people not to travel to Mizoram and advised people from the state working or staying there to "exercise utmost caution".

The two states also traded accusations over the deployment of security forces along the interstate border on Thursday, three days after both sides were locked in a fierce gun battle near the boundary that left six policemen and a civilian dead.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 8:36:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-crisis-of-essential-commodities-says-mizoram-minister/article35619832.ece

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