by Ranbir Laishram
After the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes will be ceased to be legal tender from the midnight of November 8, the normal landscape in the city has changed drastically. A visible view in the aftermath is the decline in traffic congestion in the city and long lines of people in front of nationalized banks across the state.
The city is known for its confused manner of traffic movements, thanks to Narendra Modi; his ‘landmark’ step to curb black money, by pulling up high value notes, has significantly reduced traffic movements at major areas of the city namely Wahengbam Leikai, Keishampat- Tiddim Road, Paona Keithel, Thangal Keithel, BT Road, Kanglapark and other roads connected with the capital city of Manipur. When contacted to know the real situation, the OC of City Traffic Police, Okram Doren Singh told this reporter of Imphal Times that the movement of vehicle has decreased in the last few days. During the interaction, the OC also pointed out three reasons of declining traffic and congestion in the city – the first one is unavailability of fuels; increasing awareness on traffic regulations and notably demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 as well as unable to procure new notes from banks by the general public in the last 2 (two) days.
People have money in their hands and accounts but that money is useless till the new notes are available at ATMs and banks. Money is needed once we get out of home but this prevailing situation demands people to spend judiciously, he observed.
PETROL PRICE HIKED
The price of petrol has been sky rocketed due to economic blockade along the two national highways of the state by UNC (United Naga Council). As of November 11, 2016, the price of petrol in the city has reached between Rs 190 to Rs 220 at grey market. Chief Secretary of Manipur, Oinam Nabakishore on Thursday stated that there is no petrol and diesel in stock in the state. However, when contacted with one of the oil merchant (name withheld on condition of anonymity) at the grey market told that they obtain from different fuel agencies after much hardship. They need to stay and wait till midnight to get fuels from the people of their contacted agencies. He also revealed that even if the government said that the state has no fuel in stock the public-run Indian Oil Corporation is providing petrol to few black marketers at higher price. Meanwhile, transport services of private school vans have been halted due to unavailability of fuel in the market and new notes at banks and ATMs.
After the demonization of Rs 500 and 1000 and the unavailability of fuel in the market, a big impact has hit the general public like never before in the history of the state. Even general commuters are facing problems in plying from a place to other as the old currency notes of
Rs 500 and 1000 have been banned all of a sudden. People in large numbers have the opinion that the government and concern authority need to do something at the behest of the mass and elleviate the sufferings at the earliest.