Agartala/Silchar : Supply of essential items, including food grains, was badly hit in India’s northeastern states after a series of landslides disrupted rail services in the region, an official said here Wednesday.
Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and parts of Assam have been badly affected as inadequate supply has led to an increase in prices of these essential items in the region. The disruption of railway services has been continuing for the past one week.
Train services were disrupted on the 184-km metre gauge track from Lumding to Badarpur in south Assam since Aug 20 following extensive landslides in North Cachar Hills district.
The landslides, triggered by torrential rains, took place between Mahur and Phaiding railway stations.
“The landslides and rockslips damaged the tracks extensively. A 100-metre stretch of track between Mahur and Phaiding lies under the mud and soil that came cascading down the Barail hills,” said D. Dhar Choudhurey, an official of the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR).
“At least two feet of rubble had been deposited on the tracks and these are being removed on war footing,” he told reporters. The NFR authorities have deployed a huge labour force at the site of the landslides near Mahur.
Train services on this track had resumed June 25 after remaining held up for 75 days following a spurt in attacks on trains by the separatist outfits Dima Halam Deogah (Jewel faction). Rail communication was badly affected in Tripura, Mizoram, parts of Manipur and three districts of southern Assam — Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi.
“The train services are expected to resume later Wednesday or Thursday as the Northeast Frontier Railway authorities are trying hard to resume the vital train services,” said Saumitra Banerjee, director of the Tripura food and civil supplies department.
Quoting NFR officials, Banerjee told IANS: “Railway wagons loaded with sugar and other foodgrains have been stranded in Guwahati due to the disruption caused by the heavy landslides.”
In view of the inadequate supply of essentials and construction materials from outside the states, prices of essential items and other goods have escalated in Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and southern Assam.