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Tripura facing shortage of petroleum products

By Correspondent

AGARTALA, June 26 - Although there is no �immediate� crisis in essential food items in Tripura, the landlocked State is facing an uphill task to maintain supply of petroleum products including LPG in the State.

The crisis-like situation has been created after vehicular movement on the Assam-Agartala National Highway (NH-44) at Lowerpoah came to a standstill for the past two weeks.

The situation has further worsened as the alternative highway remains �blocked� as no maintenance work has been done for quite a long time.

Thousands of trucks carrying essential commodities including petroleum items and LPG remain stranded due to the dilapidated condition of the NH-44.

It will take time to restore vehicular movement on the NH-44 as well on the alternative highway.

State Transport Minister Manik Dey has admitted that the State is facing trouble due to the stalemate on the Assam-Agartala NH for the past two weeks.

Putting the blame on the Centre and the Assam Government for the State�s beleaguered situation, Dey said, �The Tripura Government has been requesting the Centre and the Assam Government to repair the NH for quite a long time but they did not pay any heed leading to the crisis-like situation�.

Dey said, �The State Government had requested the Centre to make alternative arrangement to ensure supply of essential items before the onset of monsoon but it did not take any initiative�.

While speaking to the media in the Civil Secretariat here, he urged the Centre and the Assam Government to undertake all out efforts to restore the road. �The State also appeals to the Centre to bring petroleum products through Bangladesh waterways�, he said.

Dey said supply of essential items through railway service has come to a grinding halt due to disturbance in the hilly areas of Assam.

Reports from Churaibari confirmed that around 500 trucks carrying essential items today entered into State�s territory and 40/50 trucks are carrying fuel. Petrol is being sold in almost all petrol outlets but long queues were seen everywhere.

In a letter addressed to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonawal, BJP State president Biplab Kumar Dey has sought his intervention to improve the condition of Assam-Agartala National Highway.

�If situation requires, you may seek help from Army or Assam Rifles to restore road connectivity immediately�, he requested in the latter.

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