No petroleum products brought in since 3 days

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IMPHAL, January 27: Petroleum products have not been brought in the state from outside Manipur for three days following the indefinite blockade imposed by Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC) from 5 p.m. of 24 January in Kuki inhabited areas protesting against the Central government’s failure to initiate  a political dialogue with SoO signatories.

According to the information received by IFP  from a reliable source, the tankers which arrived safely at around 11 a.m. one day before  KSDC economic blockade began, included 64 diesel tankers, 20 petrol tankers, 9 SK oil tankers and LPG bullet tankers. However. as the economic blockade was imposed before the drivers and handymen had left for other districts and after they had parked the vehicles at Interstate Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Khuman Lampak; the supply of petrol to oil pumps located at Churachandpur, Chandel, Tamenglong, Ukhrul and district headquaters of Senapati has been held up.

If the state government had provided security escorts, petrol could have been supplied to the hill districts but the government has not taken up any special measure to provide the adequate security, the source claimed . In the meantime, around 120 tankers with petroleum products have remained stranded at Khatikhat in Assam. Out of 120 tankers, there are thirty LPG tankers while others are air fuel, petrol, diesel and SK oil tankers.

The source further said that Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF) which has escorted petroleum product tankers since some time back is escorting the tankers now . The number of CRPF personnel being provided now can escort the tankers in normal situations. But given a major shutdown and protest, such as the KSDC public blockade, the existing number of CRPF personnel for security cover would not be enough to escort the tankers.

It may be mentioned that the 120 tankers stranded at Khatakhati were the last lot of tankers to have left Manipur. Empty tankers have not left Imphal to bring in oil following the imposition of indefinite public blockade by KSDC from the evening of January 24. Against this backdrop, most of the oil pumps remained shut and long queues for petrol continued at oil pumps which opened for short duration. Petrol price has meanwhile shot up to Rs. 100 per litre on the black market. 

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