4,500 Trucks Stranded On Tripura's Lifeline, Petrol Touches Rs 250 A Ltr

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4,500 Trucks Stranded On Tripura's Lifeline, Petrol Touches Rs 250 A Ltr

Trucks have been stranded near the Assam-Tripura border for several days now.


Agartala: 

Highlights

  1. National Highway 8 connects Tripura to the rest of the country
  2. Heavy rain, mudslides, water-logging has turned crucial road into slush
  3. Supplies of essential goods like medicines, food, fuel cut off for days
More than 4,500 trucks are now stranded on National Highway 8, which connects Tripura to the rest of the country, as heavy rains, mudslides and water-logging has turned a 20 km-stretch of the crucial road into slush.

Petrol is being sold at Rs 200 to 250 per litre in some places as supplies of essential goods including medicines, fuel and food have been cut off for days.

Tripura revenue minister Badal Chowdhury on Saturday told news agency IANS that to counter the shortage of supplies, efforts are being made to transport goods through Bangladesh.

Bad weather and incessant rains have prevented repairs on the road from moving ahead with most of the trucks stranded on the Assam-Tripura border in Assam's Karimganj district.

Assam Governor PB Acharya visited the spot today and said he would ask the Assam government to coordinate with the Centre and expedite repairs. "There is no dearth of money. Such a situation should be rectified immediately," he said.
 

Trucks get stuck on the road which has turned to slush.

As prices of commodities spiralled in Tripura, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Friday held an emergency meeting with Mr Chowdhury, also the Public Works Department minister, along with government officials.

"If the central and Assam governments would have taken steps earlier to repair the NH-8, then Tripura would not have suffered. The Centre should be much more responsible for easing the sufferings of the north-eastern states which are affected due to lack of proper surface connectivity," Mr Chowdhury said.

An official of the food and civil supplies department said almost all the 60 petrol pumps in the state are dry for the past several weeks.

Earlier this week, Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari tweeted that he has instructed officials to work on a war-footing to restore the NH-8, also known by its old name of National Highway 44, to improve connectivity with Tripura.

But for truckers like Santosh Das, whose truck has been stuck for 10 days now, that help cannot come soon enough. "I see no hope. This is a terrible situation. Just some leaders saying some things is not good enough for us," he said.


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