Agartala: Tripura government is exploring the possibility to bring essential goods and fuel through Chittagong sea port of Bangladesh, said Principal Secretary Transport L H Darlong here on Thursday following disruption of surface communication due to massive landslides and incessant rain in Assam and Meghalaya over a week.
He said except fuel there is no shortage of essential items including ration goods in the state. Tripura has stock of rice, sugar, salt, dal and other essential grocery items for more than a month and the civil administration has been asked to continue monitoring the wholesale market and raiding the retail markets to avert black marketing and hoarding.
Darlong said steps are being undertaken to open alternative routes for bringing in goods to avert scarcity. First, to use Chittagong port for transhipment of goods through Haldia in West Bengal and goods to be carried to Akhaura via trucks. The other option is roadways which also seems feasible right now as the rain stopped at the Meghalaya-Assam borders.
According to Darlong, due to disruption of surface connectivity from Tripura, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has been asked to increase the flight in Agartala-Delhi, Agartala-Kolkata and Agartala-Guwahati routes. The state government also sought intervention from the centre to regulate the flight fare, which shot up to Rs 10,000 in Guwahati and Rs 9000 on the Kolkata route.
“There are 18 operational flights that land and take off every day from Agartala. Since the railway connectivity has been totally cut off, only medium of transport left is airways. The Chief Minister has also taken up the issue with the ministry of civil aviation and hopefully a few flights will be introduced,” he stated.
Apart from that, all the passengers of Humsafar express and Kanchanjunga express have been stranded in N C Hills and were brought back to Agartala with the help of Railways. Passengers of three Agartala bound trains that could not reach the final destination because of the extreme weather conditions had been shifted to Guwahati.
The Assam Rifles have extended the support to make sure that children and elderly persons can reach their homes in time; he informed and added, “We are in talks with Meghalaya government and hopefully road connectivity has been restored but it will take some time to become smooth.”
However, the Tripura government has remained with the restriction on the sale of petrol and diesel in the state due to shortage of supply following the snap of rail and road connectivity with Tripura at North Cachar hills. The retail outlets were directed to provide fuel of Rs 1000 for four-wheelers, Rs 300 for three-wheelers and Rs 200 for two-wheelers for each day until further order.