Tripura may use Chittagong port to transport essentials
The state has already requested the Food Corporation of India and Indian Oil Corporation Limited to ensure normal supply.Additional secretary to the food and civil supplies department, Tapan Kumar Das said IOCL has already started sending petrol and diesel to Tripura through tankers from Guwahati and Silchar to prevent the possible shortage of fuel.
Tripura government may transport essential commodities through Bangladesh's Chittagong as railway services to the state from Assam have been snapped by sudden floods and landslides, an official said on Wednesday.
There has been no confirmation over the restoration of train service through Lumding-Badarpur section in Assam which has been hit by landslides triggered by incessant rain, L H Darlong, principal secretary, in Tripura's transport department, said at a press conference.
The Assam-Agartala national highway has opened for vehicular movement from Wednesday after a brief halt, he said.
“Even though the Assam-Agartala national highway is opened for vehicular movement, disruption in train service for a long period will have an adverse impact on the normal supply of essential items to Tripura. That is why we are planning to bring essentials by using an alternative way - the Haldia- Chittagong-Akhaura-Agartala transhipment route to transport essential items on an emergency basis,” he said.
The coastal route of Haldia-Chittagong- Akhaura-Agartala, inaugurated in July 2020, is 600 km.
Darlong said as of now Tripura has a rice stock for 43 days, wheat for 38 days, sugar for 28 days, besides pulses and vegetables. But the stock for petrol will only last for eight days and diesel for five, which is a matter of concern, he said. The state has already requested the Food Corporation of India and Indian Oil Corporation Limited to ensure normal supply.
Additional secretary to the food and civil supplies department, Tapan Kumar Das said “IOCL has already started sending petrol and diesel to Tripura through tankers from Guwahati and Silchar to prevent the possible shortage of fuel”. In view of the situation, the Tripura government has restricted the selling of petrol. Two wheelers can buy petrol of maximum Rs 200, three wheelers for Rs 300 and four wheelers for Rs 1000. A litre of petrol costs Rs 108.26 in Agartala.
There are, however, no restrictions on the sale of diesel but many of petrol pumps here have downed shutters in the capital town as they have run out of reserves. Darlong said the state has already requested the civil aviation ministry to increase flight services to and from Maharaja Bir Bikram (MBB) airport here in view of the disruption in train service at Maibong in Assam since May 13. Currently 18 flights are operating in MBB airport and prices of air tickets to Kolkata and Delhi, the two favoured destinations from Tripura, have already gone up substantially. An air ticket to Kolkata now costs above Rs 7000 compared to Rs 4400 earlier and to Delhi it is Rs 20150, up from Rs 8400. A ticket from Delhi to Agartala now costs 12,350. No airtickets are available for Guwahati. North East Frontier Railway sources said that all train services in Tripura, Mizoram and lower Assam have been suspended till May 25 and the situation will be reviewed after the date.
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