GUWAHATI, May 22 � Considering the acute crisis of essential petroleum products in Manipur due to indefinite economic blockade along the two national highways, NH-39 and NH-53, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has begun airlifting petroleum products to Imphal.
An IL76 aircraft of Indian Air Force was requisitioned for the purpose and four tank lorries, carrying 48,000 litres of diesel were airlifted to Imphal in two sorties this morning.
According to A Pandian, General Manager, North East Integrated State Office of IOC who personally supervised the airlifting operation, the IOC has requested Indian Air Force to continue the airlifting operation.
�Preparation is going on to send more petroleum products on the IL76 aircraft tomorrow. The aircraft was requisitioned yesterday, on which 32,000 litres of kerosene were airlifted from Tezpur and unloaded at Imphal on Friday,� Asim Kalita, Chief Information Systems Manager, IOC told The Assam Tribune.
�The IOC has been making efforts to somehow send the products to the suffering people of Manipur. While the normal route of petroleum tank lorries is by NH39 via Dimapur, Kohima, Mao to Imphal depot, in view of the continuing blockade, IOC diverted eight tank lorries and two LPG bullets on May 20 via Silchar, Aizawl, Sinzawl, Churachandpur, Imphal route. These tank lorries are expected to reach Imphal only on May 23,� he added.
Meanwhile, a convoy of 45 tank lorries, 33 LPG bullets and 2 LPG cylinder trucks had also left Jiribam for Imphal under security on May 21 via NH53 along with other trucks carrying essential items despite the blockade.
�IOC will leave no stone unturned to continue supply of petroleum products to the people of Manipur despite the mounting challenges,� Kalita added. �