Tripura facing scarcity of essentials due to damaged highway

Agartala, Sep 16 (IANS) Tripura is facing a severe shortage of essentials and transport fuel as the Assam-Agartala national highway — the only surface link between Tripura and the rest of country — has been damaged following incessant rainfall.

According to state government officials, the highway has been badly damaged and consequently oil tankers and goods-laden trucks have been stranded.

The road has turned muddy in different areas due to heavy rainfall over the past three weeks.

Food and Civil Supplies Department Director and Special Secretary Soumitra Bandopadhayay said: “The state government is in touch with the union road transport and highways ministry as well as the Assam government to ensure plying of goods laden trucks and oil tankers.”

Bandopadhayay said the Assam government has assured to take steps to repair the parts of damaged highway that fall in its territory.

Tripura Chief Secretary Y.P. Singh was in contact with the union road transport and highways ministry to restore normal traffic.

Truckers and drivers of small vehicles intermittently organise road blockades, demanding that the condition of the highway should be improved.

Bandopadhayay on Wednesday sent an SOS to north Tripura district magistrate asking him to talk to the deputy commissioner of Assam’s Karinganj district to take steps to push over a 100 stranded oil tankers to Tripura immediately.

Tripura is depended on other states for essentials, food grains, transport fuel and cooking gas.

As the rail service has been stopped since October last year due to gauge conversion works in southern Assam, surface transport is the only mode to carry the essentials.

Tripura shares a 53-km-long border with Assam, 109 km with Mizoram and a 856 km border with Bangladesh.

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