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Prices sky rocket in Manipur
Correspondent IMPHAL, AUG 22:
Published on 23 Aug. 2009 12:39 AM IST
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Prices of the essential commodities in Manipur sky-rocketed owing the prolonged imposition of economic blockade on the National Highway-39 by a students body coinciding with “Chakka bandh” called by highway transporters and public agitations against July 23 fake encounter that continues to rock the state. Over 270 goods ferrying trucks are stranded between Khuzuma and Mao gate Saturday due to the indefinite economic blockade imposed by the Senapati District Students’ Association (SDSA) which commenced from July 16. The students’ body is demanding repairing of the stretch of the NH-39 passing through the district which is in woeful state allegedly due to long neglected by the authorities. The “chakka bandh” of the highway transporters was called jointly by the All Manipur Inter-State Bus Association, the Manipur Drivers’ Welfare Association, the Imphal-Silchar Road Transporters Welfare Association and the All Manipur Petrol Tanker Drivers’ Union. These are amidst the bandhs, curfew and other disturbances in the state mostly in the Imphal in the wake of people agitations which have been escalating since August 2 last since the exposure of killing of a former militant by the police commandos in fake encounter on July 23. Prices of essential commodities in the state have been sky rocketed due to the disturbances that have stopped supply of items from outside the state through the Imphal-Dimapur section of the NH-39, the lifeline of the state. As per finding of a survey in the Imphal market, the price of the common rice which was below Rs 15 per kg before the economic blockade has rose to Rs 19 while that of first class rice (local rice) rose from Rs 18 to Rs 24. The prices of onion, potato have also risen to Rs 20 and Rs 22 from its earlier prices of Rs 17 and Rs 18 per kg respectively. The price of the edible oil also hike remarkably, that a tin of Tagore brand mustard oil which was Rs 70 before the economic blockade has rose to Rs 85 currently in Imphal market and Engine brand rose from Rs 75 to 85. The price of per kg of muk dal has risen to Rs 72 and that of Arhar to Rs 75 per kg. They said even though economic blockade was on, some trucks procure the items with high rate of fare. Truckers said the fare has been hiked as they spend more on plying on the highways amidst the blockade. They have to spend extra expenditure for safe passage of the vehicle. According to truckers, they can pass through Senapati area if they pay Rs 1000 (if the truck is empty) as fine and Rs 2000 for a loaded truck per trip.

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