No newspapers in Mizoram after floods in Assam


Aizawl : Floods in Assam and Bihar have made most newspapers and magazines to do a disappearing trick in Mizoram.

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For the past one week, a majority of Mizoram’s 40-odd dailies and 20 periodicals have failed to hit the stands, thanks to a shortage of newsprint as trucks are unable to reach the state following heavy floods in Assam.

Most of the publication houses rely on supplies of newsprint from Guwahati. Mizoram is a landlocked state connected to the rest of India through Assam.

“I managed to get some newsprint in Guwahati but due to transportation problem I could not bring it. Even in Guwahati, getting newsprint is like searching a needle in the hay,” Lalhruaitluanga, manager of the Synod Press, one of the main suppliers of newsprints to newspapers, told IANS.

Publishers in Aizawl have been told that newsprint supplies have stopped due to floods in Bihar.

“We made an apology to our readers and stopped circulation. We have no choice – it is impossible to publish without newsprint,” said Lalnghinglova Hmar, joint editor of Vanglaini, Mizoram’s largest circulating vernacular daily.

The newspaper, which sells about 40,000 copies, was the first to be hit and is out of circulation for the past one week.

C. Lalrambuatsaiha, publisher of The Aizawl Post Group that runs two newspapers and a weekly magazine, is facing similar problems.

“We have already stopped publishing the weekly magazine, but somehow managing to print some limited copies of the daily newspapers. Our newsprint stocks are dwindling,” Lalrambuatsaiha said.

The Aizawl Post, which is of eight pages, is now circulating with four pages, while The Evening Post is running in a single leaf.

Lalngaizuali, publisher of Aizawl’s largest weekly newsmagazine Zozam Weekly, is also suffering.

“We’ll somehow manage next week’s issue, but after that my editors will have a vacation,” she quipped.

“All we can do is watch TV and enjoy the news and other programmes merely for time pass. There’s no point in keeping our ears and eyes open, we have no papers to write on,” said Lalmuanzuala, editor of Lunglei Tribune.

A bridge collapse on National Highway 53, the main lifeline for Mizoram, is the primary reason for the shortage, with no trucks plying to the state from Assam.