No dearth of essential commodities for NE: Minister
NEWDELHI, 5th Apr: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh on Sunday announced here that regular air cargo supplies, including essential commodities and medical equipment, are reaching the northeast and there will be no dearth of any items in the days to come.
In a brief to the media, Singh said air cargo flights carrying essential supplies became operational on priority in the north-eastern region as well as other distant regions including the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, and the island territories soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.
Air cargo flights, through Air India as well as Indian Air Force, started operating, he said. Giving details, Singh said, the first air consignment through Air India landed at Guwahati Airport on March 30 late night and the very next morning on an Indian Air Force cargo flight landed at Dimapur.
"Ever since then, there has been a regular inflow of air cargo consignments, as a result of which, for example, Nagaland has so far already received three big air consignments and Manipur three air cargo consignments." As for the demand for face masks, Singh said a consignment of 30,000 N-95 masks has already landed in Guwahati for further distribution.
"In future also, arrangement is in place to arrange for an air cargo flight at a short notice, whenever a demand or requirement is raised," the minister assured. Depending upon the nature and the quantum of the consignment, Air India and the Indian Air Force will work in coordination with each other, he said.
"There is also a mechanism in place for real-time monitoring and we are in constant touch with all the state governments."
At the same time, Singh said that the international border measuring about 5,500 kms along northeast India stands fully sealed. "This has, in turn, helped in containing the spread of coronavirus."