IMPHAL, July 30: The State Government has decided to send oil tankers of the State to load petroleum products with tight security escort through the bypass road which connects Mao with Kohima in Imphal-Dimapur stretch in National Highway-2 from tomorrow, informed a statement of the Information Cell, in charge of the Minister of Education and CAF&PD, Johnson S.
It said that a decision to this effect was arrived at during a meeting held at the office chamber of Consumers Affairs Food and Public Distribution (CAF & PD) Minister M Okendro.
The meeting was also attended by Mao MLA L Dingko, Karong MLA Dr Alexander Pao, CAF and PD Commissioner Y Thamkishore, Addl Secy M Yaiskul Meetei, State level Co-ordinator of IOC, KI Singh and Depot Manager SI Singh, informed the statement.
During the meeting, officials of IOC said they could send around 100 oil tankers to the bypass road to fetch petroleum products if the government provide adequate security escort adding that empty tankers after passing the road could return following next day with all full loaded, it said.
The officials further said that altogether 52 oil tankers have reached Imphal coming along the Imphal-Jiribam road (NH-37) and that another 82 full loaded oil tanker are still stationed at Jiribam waiting to return to Imphal.
It added that oil tankers took three days to reach Imphal from Jiribam if it comes escorted by normal convoy among other good laden trucks.
Stating that oil tankers would not take more than one day to reach Imphal if the government arrange adequate security escort especially for it, the officials further said oil tankers have came with security escort along the Imphal-Jiribam road only once in the last half month.
Due to the shortage of oil, oil pumps in Imphal and its surrounding area have not been able to distribute petroleum products adequately at a given time, it said.
Moreover, there is also the need to reserve certain amount of fuel for police, security forces, GAD and other official departments, the officials said.
The two MLAs, while informing that oil tankers would not faced much difficulty as the bypass road happen to be a one way, said they would not hesitate to lead the convoy in bringing the petroleum products through the road considering plights of the people of the State, the statement said.
Lauding the courage shown by the two MLAs, the Minister said that the government would try to bring back the products at the earliest, adding that necessary security arrangement would be taken up at the earliest.
In passing along the bypass road, one has to go through Pudunamei which is 4km before reaching Mao.
From Pudunamei the road passes through Kedima and Chakanama before reaching Kohima.
The distance between Pudunamei and Kohima is about 45 kms. If oil tankers passed through this way, it would fetch oil from NRL pumps and if it went through Imphal-Dimapur road in NH-2, the distance between Mao and Kohima is around 32 kms.
It is said that if the 82 oil tankers are not able to ply along the Imphal-Jiribam road, then the tankers will have to enter the state through the bypass road.
The government is also hoping that if oil tankers could ply through the bypass road uninterrupted then the problem of oil scarcity would be solved to some extent, it said.
Moreover, with the IOC not able to stock adequate oil in its depot at present, it is unlikely that it can distribute oil products sufficiently, the statement said.
However, if the plan mission is successful and if oil tankers could bring the products with two or more trips, then the present oil scarcity problem would be solved.
Meanwhile, the state government has directed the concerned authorities to arrange a CRPF convoy for tomorrow’s trip.