As ‘blockade’ chokes supplies, Mizoram asks people to curb consumption

With supplies blocked for the past nine days due to an “economic blockade” on National Highway 306, its lifeline, the Mizoram government on Tuesday appealed to its people to curtail domestic consumption.

State Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department Director Ramdinliani said that in view of the deadlock in the supply of all essentials, food grains and other items, the state’s people were urged not to hoard essential items and curtail domestic consumption.

“Mizoram’s 95 per cent supplies come through the NH-306, which is the lifeline for our state and the ‘economic blockade’ has been continuing in the (southern) Assam’s Cachar district since July 26 after the border troubles,” she told the media.

Ramdinliani said that while the government has been trying to bring petrol and diesel from Tripura and Manipur, the department has also taken steps to bring essential commodities from these two neighbouring states.

A SpiceJet flight dispatched 3,711 kg of cargo, mostly e-commerce items, to Aizawl from southern Assam’s Silchar.

Meanwhile, the Mizoram Bar Association filed a public interest litigation before the Aizawl Bench of Gauhati High Court on Tuesday about the blockade of NH-306.

MBA President Anil Rinliana Malhotra and General Secretary R. Lalhmingmawia, in a joint statement, said that the association had earlier submitted representations before the Central, Assam and Mizoram governments regarding the blockade.

“As no response has been received yet from the three governments, considering the hardship faced by the people of Mizoram, the MBA has filed the PIL,” its statement said.

An Indian Oil Corporation official in Agartala said that 8 to 10 fuel tankers carrying petrol and diesel are being regularly going to Mizoram from Tripura since Saturday.

Meanwhile, Mizoram Health Minister R. Lalthangliana has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to intervene as the state has been facing a severe crisis of medicines, including life-saving and Covid-19 related drugs, and prevent a health crisis that may soon engulf Mizoram and which would be beyond the control of anybody.

Lalthangliana wrote separate letters to the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Health Minister detailing the medicine crisis due to the “economic blockade”.

Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo also said that the state government had taken up the issue of “economic blockade” with the Union Home Ministry.

The worst-ever violence along the Assam-Mizoram border on July 26 left six Assam Police personnel dead and around 100 civilians and security personnel of the two neighbouring states injured, including an Inspector General of Police in Assam and Cachar Superintendent of Police Vaibhav Chandrakant Nimbalkar.