TMC stages protest against fuel crisis in Tripura

Agartala (Tripura), July 23 :The Trinamool Congress organised an one hour statewide 'chakka jam' (road blockage) to protest against the Manik Sarkar-led Left Front government in Tripura and BJP government at the centre for failing to address the ongoing fuel crisis and price hike of essential commodities in the state. The pricing crisis has been on for over a month, which has led to the state government to impose rationing of fuel. TMC MLA Sudip Roy Barman said, "Across the state we have agitated for the supply of petrol, diesel and cooking gas etc. Today, we agitated in the streets with chakka jam for one hour and given ultimatum that within this month if things don't improve, we will be going in for a bigger agitation." "We are sorry to say that the callus attitude of the central government, the Government of Assam and obviously the Government of Tripura have caused immense suffering to the people of Tripura for the last two months. No positive initiative has yet been initiated from either of these quarters," he added. They protesters said the state government should think of getting fuel through Bangladesh if it was not possible from Assam. Office and school students had to face a huge problem due to road blockages. Banajit Debbarma, an office goer, said, "At present, we have no other option but to wait here, as a political party is placing a demand and we as citizens, in spite of our suffering, are accepting it. They are protesting against the fuel crisis which has been continuing for the last two months. Earlier, we did not face this, but we do not know what has gone wrong that this year, for so long, this is continuing. Though it is said that due to the bad road condition the problem is on, but has there been no repair of the roads for so many years, that all of a sudden, this year, it has taken such a turn for the worse." Another office goer, Soumen Chakraborty, said, "Today's road blockage is to protest against the regular fuel crisis which is leading to a crisis of other essential commodities. At present, office goers, in spite of paying double fare, are unable to reach their offices on time. This is a loss for the government as well as for us. I believe this problem takes place during the monsoon season, so the authority is engaged with the repairing of roads. But they should have taken precautions to prevent this situation." In view of the stalemate in the Assam-Agartala national highway and the alternative highway, the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) is planning to bring petroleum products through Bangladesh. The IOCL is contemplating to use Dwaki (Meghalaya) or Akhaura to bring petroleum products like petrol, diesel and LPG. Following the shortages caused by the disruption of both rail and road traffic, prices of essential commodities has also increased in Tripura. It may be recalled that petrol is being sold at Rs 200-250 per litre in Agartala through black marketing.