Agartala: The incessant rains across the Northeast are now putting pressure on states like Tripura, Mizoram and Barak valley, as the road considered the lifeline for these regions—the National Highway 6—witnessed several landslides, especially in Meghalaya.
Tripura, for now, seems to be the worst hit due to the disruptions across National Highway 6. Higher officials of the food and civil supplies department said if the road connectivity is restored within a few days, there would be no major effect. However, if the traffic remains disrupted for the long term, a crisis may hit the state markets. “The present stock of food grains is enough for this month. Earlier, large quantities of rice and other essential grains could be transported through railways. In absence of railway services, we are largely dependent on roadways. And definitely, the supply chain needs to remain unaffected when we have only one route operational,” Saradindu Chowdhury, secretary, Tripura Food and Civil Supplies department told EastMojo.
Railway services were snapped after heavy rains triggered landslides and inundated Haflong railway station. Expectedly, the railway operations are slated to resume on July 10. “As per the reports we have received from the National Highway Authorities, the road will be restored within the next two to three days. We are in constant touch with the highway authorities and accordingly, steps will be undertaken,” principal secretary, transport department told EastMojo.
However, as per the sources in the food and civil supplies department, the state has a stock of essential food grains for the next ten to fifteen days while the stock of petroleum oil is enough for the next eight to ten days. “The alternative Guwahati-Agartala route through Bangladesh is still operational and IOCL is transporting gas bullets frequently. If the road connectivity also gets halted for a long time, we would be compelled to depend on the transport route through Bangladesh for transit of essentials,” said a top source in the department.
Mizoram, on the other hand, seems prepared for the floods better than Tripura. For now, according to people EastMojo spoke with, the state has essentials thanks to the road between Silchar and Aizawl which is still functioning. However, if the NH-6 remains out of commission, it will put much more pressure on the state, especially for fuel needs. Petrol pumps across the state witnessed more activity than usual, however, and late on Thursday evening, the state government issued a directive limiting how much petrol a vehicle can buy. According to the state directive, a two-wheeler scooter can buy 3 litres of petrol at a time, while a motorcycle can buy up to 5 litre at a time. The limit for light motor vehicles (cars) is 10 litres, and heavy motor vehicles can buy up to 40 litres at a time. The orders are effective from June 16.
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