Vehicles carrying Covid-19 test kits and medicines blocked in Assam, says Mizoram Health Minister

Not only essential commodities but medical supplies to Mizoram are also being blocked in Assam due to the blockade in the Barak Valley region following the border dispute, a minister said on Sunday.

However, Assam has claimed that no organisation is staging blockade in the state to disrupt essential supplies and traffic movement.

Mizoram health minister Dr. R. Lalthangliana said that medical consignments like Covid-19 test kits and medicines are stranded in Assam’s Cachar district owing to the blockade on National Highway-306.

“As per our information, a state-sponsored economic blockade is being clamped in Assam. All essentials and life-saving medicine including Covid-19 related consignment are being blocked in the Dholai-Lailapur area. We will approach the Centre again to resume traffic movement,” Lalthangliana said.

Mizoram is currently battling with the second wave of Covid-19 and is one of the most affected states in the country.

The northeastern state on Sunday reported 861 new Covid-19 cases, pushing the state’s tally to 38,925.

The death toll has climbed to 150 after two more people died on Sunday.

The number of active cases now stands at 12,016, while 26,759 people have recovered from the infection, including 372 on Sunday.

State immunization officer Dr. Lalzawmi said that over 6.3 lakh people have been vaccinated till Saturday.

The state government has extended complete lockdown in Aizawl Municipal Corporation (AMC) area for another seven days till August 7 to break the chain of rising Covid-19 cases.

Meanwhile, state chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said the state government has strong faith in the Centre and will shoot another letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to seek its intervention for immediate resumption of traffic movement from Assam.

He said the state government making massive efforts to ensure that supply of essential commodities and other goods enter from Assam.

According to the chief secretary, about 95 per cent of essential supplies come to Mizoram through Assam on the National Highway-306, which is the lifeline of the state.

The Mizoram home department had written to the MHA at least two times in just three days between July 28 and July 30 seeking the Centre’s intervention to lift the alleged economic blockade being clamped by people of Barak Valley and to reconstruct railway tracks uprooted at three locations in Assam.

Mizoram Chemist and Druggist Association had recently written to the state chief secretary seeking the government’s intervention for the resumption of supplies from Assam.

The association had alleged that the Assam government under the guise of security concern has verbally instructed all transporters in Guwahati to not book goods, including medicine on July 29.

Even couriers have been barred from booking, the association mentioned in its letter.

Kolasib Superintendent of Police (SP) Vanlalfaka said on Sunday that no vehicles carrying goods or passengers except security forces have entered the state since July 26 till date.

He said that there is no restriction on the Mizoram side and a handful of vehicles are moving towards Assam every day.

At least 70 vehicles left for Assam on Saturday, he said.

“There is no restriction of traffic movement on our side. We are making efforts to ensure that vehicles manned by non-tribal move freely to Assam. No resident create any problem as they are convinced that it is not a communal issue but a border dispute between two states,” he said.

He said that there is no further escalation of the situation along the inter-state border as troopers of Central Armed Forces have been deployed and patrolled the border areas.

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