No trucks on highway to Mizoram, state starts to feel pinch

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Kolasib residents say no truck carrying essential supplies from elsewhere in India through Assam have arrived in Kolasib on way to Aizawl…reports Subir Bhaumik.

Assam and Mizoram say they have taken steps to defuse the border tension, but the national highway connecting the two states are still bereft of transport carrying essential supplies.

During a three-hour trip from Aizawl Airport to Kolasib, the border district with Assam, this correspondent could find only three trucks on National Highway 306.

All were carrying bamboos within Mizoram, the drivers said.

Kolasib residents say no truck carrying essential supplies from elsewhere in India through Assam have arrived in Kolasib on way to Aizawl.

“It is due to the blockage started by Assam. Their government has stopped all trucks to Mizoram. Most of them carry essential supplies like Covid drugs and testing kits,” said Kolasib resident Andrew Vanlalauva.

Roadside eateries between Aizawl and Kolasib say their business is down.

“Truck drivers are our biggest clientele. Most come to eat when going towards Aizawl. We cannot find customers since the border trouble started,” said V.Sailo, owner of a roadside eatery in Kolasib.

Last Monday, Assam and Mizoram Police fought pitched gunbatttles on the Cachar-Kolasib border, leaving six Assam policemen dead, while 60 others, including many policemen and civilians on either side were injured, many seriously.

A war of words followed but intervention by Union Home Minister Amit Shah has helped contain the situation.

Both Chief Ministers, Assam’s Himanta Biswa Sarma and Mizoram’s Zoramthanga, have pledged to work for peace.

The Centre has deployed CRPF formations on the disputed borders to keep the two warring police forces far apart.

But landlocked Mizoram has already began to feel the pinch.

Battling with a serious Covid situation, the Aizawl municipality had to stop its mass screening program for paucity of testing kits.

A huge consignment of those kits are stuck on the way in trucks that had not been able to ply into Mizoram from Assam.

Prices of all essential commodities are rising.

“If the two Chief Ministers have agreed to peacefully resolve the border dispute, why should Assam stop trucks heading towards Mizoram, ” says Kolasib trader Lalsangliana.

The officials are tight-lipped because they don’t want the situation to spin out of control.

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