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Bring essentials through B'desh: Tripura

By Correspondent

AGARTALA, July 19 - Alarmed at the pathetic condition of the Assam-Agartala national highway (NH-8) and the alternative highway, the Tripura Government has requested the Centre to send petroleum products and essential food items through Bangladesh.

The State government has already approached the Centre seeking its approval of bringing petroleum products and food stuff through Bangladesh as it is a bilateral issue, said Tripura Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bhanulal Saha.

While petroleum products could be brought through Meghalaya's Dawki border to Dharmanagar (Tripura) via Raghna, foodstuff could be taken to the State by using Ashuganj port in Bangladesh, he told The Assam Tribune here on Tuesday.

"The rice stock, which was for 90 days before taking up BG conversion work, has been reduced to 40/42 days, ringing alarm bells for the State," he said.

Saha said the FCI authority was asked to increase of rice induction up to 5000 MT by using Ashuganj port in Bangladesh.

Expressing serious concern over the pathetic condition of the NH8 and the alternative highway, the Minister said the previous Assam Government did nothing for the improvement of the two important roads. "The new government in Dispur is speaking a lot, but the follow-up action is yet to be visible at the ground level, leading to scarcity of essential commodities," he said.

"The people of the State are suffering due to very poor connectivity and I cannot rule out political motive in letting the landlocked State to suffer during the monsoon season," he said.

Giving details on the condition of the two life lines - the Assam-Agartala National Highway 8 and the alternative highway, the Minister said patches covering an area of 3 km are very alarming at Kathaltali in the alternative highway. "These patches could be repaired easily if Dispur had the will. The State government is ready to repair the `dangerous' patches at Kathaltali if the Assam Government allows us to do so," he added.

Saha further said the State will face more serious situation if the stock of essential items and petroleum is not build before September.

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