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PDS, Power Issues Dominate House Talks, Manipur Bid To Beat Blockades

IMPHAL, Dec 22: At the proposal of the State Government, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has taken up steps to set up a Rail Fed Depot at Malom that would have the capacity of stocking petroleum products for 90 days, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Y Erabot informed the House during question hour session of the Assembly today.

MLA Dr Ng Bijoy and MLA Bijoy Koijam charged that artificial shortage of petroleum products has been created in the State and even if PDS items like Kerosene, rice, etc are not made available in other Assembly Constituencies, the same are being provided abundantly in Wangkhei Assembly Constituency.

MLA Ng Bijoy demanded to know the measures being taken up by the Government to overcome problem of alleged artificial scarcity of petrol, diesel and kerosene in the State.

MLA Bijoy Koijam pointed out that monthly Kerosene quota provided to the MLAs has not been received for the last 5/6 months. Even though Kerosene is not available in most Assembly Constituency, there is adequate supply in Wangkhei Constituency. Hence, everyone is heading to Wangkhei Constituency to get Kerosene these days, he added.

In response, Minister Erabot informed that the State Government has proposed for increasing the storage capacity of petroleum products for 90 days. Accordingly, IOC has started taking up steps for setting up a rail fed depot at Malom which would have the capacity of storing petroleum products for 90 days.

The Minister asserted that shortage of PDS items including petroleum products in Manipur is on account prolonged blockade imposed along both the National Highways, landslides and law and order problem.

As IOC has not been able to transport petroleum products, 10,444 kilolitres of Kerosene which is supposed to be received as quota for the month of October has not been provided, the Minister clarified.

Reacting to the charges of people heading to Wangkhei AC for getting rice and kerosene which are allegedly being supplied abundantly, the Minister demanded that relevant documents be provided and assured that he would initiate action.

In response to a question by MLA N Mangi, Power Minister Phungzathang Tonsing informed the House that under RGGVY scheme, rural electrification has been started in eight village areas of Bishnupur district. Out of these eight, three villages have already been provided electricity.

Supplementing the Power Minister, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh said that implementation of the scheme which is a flagship program of the Government of India is being targeted for completion by March next year. Almost all the materials required for implementation of the scheme have arrived and the same are being kept inside Kangla. Under this scheme, BPL families in villages which have not less than 100 households would be provided electricity connection free of cost.

The CM also assured that necessary instruction would be given to the implementing agencies for expediting the scheme.

To a question raised by Opposition leader Radhabinod Koijam, Transport Minister L Jayantakumar said Nagaland Govt provided the land measuring 4.241 acres at Dimapur, which used to be the complex of MSRTC, to Govt of Manipur in 1969. Land tax was paid till 2006 and there are 12 quarters and six godowns inside the complex.

But Dimapur DC is found to have allotted the land in favor of seven individuals including a Meitei. So, a Ministerial team including him had recently gone to inspect the site and hold talks with the Chief Minister of Nagaland in this regard. The Nagaland CM has also assured that the land in question has been exchanged between the two neighboring States and the same could not be allotted to any private individuals, the Minister said.

Furthermore, Nagaland Govt has requested for continued payment of land tax and has taken a decision to evict the encroachers from within the MSRTC complex, the Minister added.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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Manipur Bid To Beat Blockades

Imphal, Dec. 22: To beat economic blockades and roadblocks along Manipur’s supply routes, the Okram Ibobi Singh government has taken up multi-pronged strategies to ensure adequate supply of goods, including fuel and essential commodities in the state.

The prolonged economic blockade imposed recently by All Naga Students Association (Ansam) and United Naga Council (UNC) on the eve and in the wake of NSCN (I-M) leader Th. Muivah’s attempt to enter Manipur in May this year totally dislocated supply of all kinds of goods to Manipur, creating food and fuel crises.

Manipur’s main supply line is National Highway 39 (Imphal-Dimapur highway). Ibobi Singh reopened the Imphal-Jiribam highway, also known as New Cachar road (NH53), after supply along NH39 was completely stopped during the blockade.

To beat such blockades in the future, the Ibobi Singh government has decided to reopen the Old Cachar road that linked Imphal and Cachar through Jiribam.

On top of this, to ensure enough fuel stocks, the government is pursuing a project for setting up a fuel storage facility at Malom on the outskirts of Imphal city that could store fuel for three months.

‘The government is pushing forward a project for setting up another oil depot at Malom in Imphal West to augment the storage capacity. This new storage depot combined with the existing storage at Chingmeirong of Imphal city could help do away with the problem of fuel scarcity in Manipur,’ consumer affairs, food and public distribution minister Yumkham Erabot Singh told the state Assembly on its opening day today.

He said this was a long-term plan and the new depot would be fed by rail after the Imphal-Tupul railway line was commissioned. The present depot at Chingmeirong has only about 15 days’ storage capacity. The railway project, on the other hand, is progressing smoothly, he said.

Erabot Singh denied charges by Ng. Bijoy Singh of the Opposition Manipur Peoples Party (MPP) that the recent fuel crisis was man-made. Bijoy had raised the issue through a question in the Assembly.

The minister said it was because of the prolonged economic blockade and landslides along the supply routes that had led to the fuel scarcity. He added that the situation had now improved.

However, another bout of fuel scarcity stares Manipur in the face as fuel contractors are threatening a strike.

They are planning to stop lifting fuel from Assam in protest against low transportation charges paid by the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) to the transporters.

‘Supply trucks carrying essential commodities are getting nearly half of what the tankers are getting. The IOCL is refusing to revise the transportation charges. Hence, we are planning to stop transportation services from January 1 if the IOCL fails to revise the charges,’ a transporter said.

(Courtesy: Telegraph India)

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