Essential commodities prices sky rocketed in clashes-hit Manipur

Essential commodities prices sky rocketed in clashes-hit Manipur

Imphal: Prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed in Manipur since communal violence broke out three weeks ago, as imports of products from outside the state have been affected, with many items being sold at double the normal price.

In most parts of the drought-stricken northeastern state, besides LPG cylinders and petrol, commodities like rice, potatoes, onions and eggs are being sold at much higher rates than the government has set.
“Earlier, the price of a 50 kg bag of super fine rice was Rs 900 but now it has gone up to Rs 1,800. The prices of potatoes and onions have also increased by Rs 20 to 30. Generally, imports The prices of all essential commodities have gone up,” said Manglembi Chanam, a government school teacher in Imphal West district.

He said that LPG cylinders are being sold for Rs 1,800 in the black market, while a liter of petrol costs Rs 170 in many parts of Imphal West district.
“The prices of eggs have also gone up, a crate of 30 eggs costs Rs 300 instead of Rs 180. If the security forces had not guarded the trucks carrying the essential goods, the prices would have gone up further. Scenes of the security forces Potatoes had also reached Rs 100 per kg before they arrived,” said Chanam.
Truck traffic in the Imphal Valley came to a standstill due to roadblocks and fear among transporters as a tribal solidarity march was held in Manipur on May 3 to protest against the demands of the Scheduled Tribe (ST) community in the hill districts of Manipur. Clashes took place after the event.
“Consequently, the stock of essential goods in the state has dwindled and reached critical levels leading to planned movement through NH 37,” said a defense official.
The spokesperson said that truck movement on NH 37 resumed on May 15 and security forces are fully committed to restore normalcy.

The prices of essential commodities also increased in districts that were not much affected by the violence between the people of Mete and Kuki communities in which more than 70 people were killed.
Rebecca Gangmei, 41, who runs a grocery shop and a food stall in Tamenglong district headquarters, said, “The prices of essential items, especially rice, have gone up sharply even though there has been no violence in our district. Only meat. The prices have not changed much because it is not imported from the local people.
Pamchuila Kashung, an assistant professor at a government college in Ukhrul district, said she is lucky because she lives near Nagaland, where essential commodities come from.

“Nevertheless, the prices of some commodities have increased, especially rice,” Kashung said.
Some people also said that the prices of tobacco products have also increased manifold.

A consumer affairs department official said the government fixes prices from time to time and whoever sells products at higher rates will be penalised.
The state government has released revised wholesale and retail prices of food items 18 days after the violence erupted.

Although the violence in Manipur began on May 3, earlier there was tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which led to a series of small protests.
Meiteis constitute about 53% of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. The tribals – Nagas and Kukis – constitute another 40 percent of the population and live in the hilly districts.
The ethnic clashes have claimed more than 70 lives and nearly 10,000 army and paramilitary personnel have been deployed to restore order in the northeastern state.

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