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NH blockade hits Manipur economy

By Sobhapati Samom

IMPHAL, May 9 � Even as curfew has been lifted for 12 hours from the tension-filled Mao Gate in Manipur�s Senapati district,the Naga villagers along the NH-39 are attempting to block the route to prevent reinforcement of security forces.

In an attempt to block the movement of security reinforcements along the 110 km Imphal-Mao sector of the NH-39, Naga villagers in the district piled up stones and wood since the past 24 hours, making it difficult for any vehicular movement on the route.

�We�ve to block it to avoid further security actions�, Naga villagers said when enquired. The worst-hit section of the highway is in between Kangpokpi to Mao town (65 km), as the villagers pile up stones upto 4/5 feet along the route, besides felling trees and making large trenches.

To oversee the situation GOC 57 Mountain division Major DS Hooda of Leimakhong army headquarters in the state also conducted an arial survey yesterday.

The blocking of the route following the ongoing stand-off arising out of NSCN-IM leader Thuingaleng Muivah�s proposed entry into the State and the prolonged economic blockade on the route since mid-April last has created an artificial scarcity of essential commodities in the State.

With oxygen stock running out, both government and private hospitals in Manipur decided to cancel routine operations except the emergencies.

�We�ll not accept any emergency patients for major operations from now on�, Dr Kh Palin, Managing Director of the private Shija Hospitals said. Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) hospital�s medical superintendent Dr Y Mohen also echoed a similar view.

Also, non-arrival of fuel tankers has caused unavailability of petroleum products since the past three weeks. As a result, petrol prices in black market has risen to a whopping Rs 150 per litre this evening.

T Bhabini, a housewife who drops her daughter to school daily says, �I can�t afford to purchase petrol on such exorbitant rates. Plus it�s highly adulterated�. The school van services are also likely to be suspended from Monday onwards due to unavailability of fuel.

LPG cylinders are being sold at the rate of Rs 1000 to 1200 at present and availability is also low.

The May 3 pull-out of armed security men for deployment at strategic locations in the State has also affected bank transactions.

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