DoNER minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday asserted that there is no dearth of essential commodities and medical equipment in the northeast.

“Regular air cargo supplies, including essential commodities and medical equipment, are reaching the northeast and there are no shortage of items or would be in the days to come,” Singh said.

In a brief to the media, Singh said, soon after the declaration of the nationwide lockdown, a decision on the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taken that air cargo flights carrying essential supplies will be operated on priority in the northeast as well as other distant regions including the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and the island territories.

“Soon thereafter, air cargo flights, through Air India as well as the Indian Air Force, started operating,” he said.

Giving details, the DoNER minister said the first air consignment through Air India landed at the Guwahati airport on March 30 and an Indian Air Force cargo flight landed at Dimapur the next morning on March 31.

“Ever since, there has been a regular inflow of air cargo consignments, as a result of which, the state of Nagaland has so far already received three big air consignments and so has Manipur,” Singh said.

For the demand for face masks, Singh disclosed that a consignment of 30,000 N-95 masks has already landed in Guwahati for further distribution.

Singh appreciated the efforts of self-help groups, which have come forward to prepare masks and sanitisers through their own efforts.

Singh further assured that arrangement is in place to arrange for an air cargo flight at a short notice in the future as well as and when demand or requirement is raised.

Depending upon the nature and the quantum of the consignment, Air India and the Indian Air Force will work in coordination with each other, he said.

There is also a mechanism in place for real-time monitoring and we are in constant touch with all the state governments, he said.


Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: