The ongoing unrest in neighbouring Darjeeling Hills has adversely affected transportation of essential commodities in the East district of Sikkim, official sources said today. Reports have been received from various parts of the district regarding the shortage of essential commodities in the markets and shops in the East district, they said. A meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Secretary, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs department with the District Collector, East and officials of line departments. It was decided in the meeting that a Control Room be setup at MG Marg, opposite Tourist Information Centre to receive complaints and grievances from the public pertaining to the shortage of essential commodities being faced in the district due to the unrest in neighbouring Darjeeling district. “The public can lodge their grievances at the control room phone number 03592-204995 from 8am to 8pm,” the district collector Prabhkar Rao said.
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He also informed that a Special task force headed by the Sub Divisional magistrate, East has also been formed to curb malpractices such as black marketing, hoarding and over pricing by the wholesale and retail shops and to check the shortage of essential commodities in the district. The indefinite shutdown in the Darjeeling hills entered its 30th day today. Sikkim has alleged vehicles carrying food grains and other essential items, vegetables from the markets in and around Siliguri are being attacked and vandalised in the National highway 10 that connects Siliguri with Gangtok. Sikkim has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to West Bengal and its Director General of Police to ensure that National Highway 10 is kept free for vehicular movement of passengers and goods to and from Sikkim.
Sikkim has also sought a direction to the Centre and West Bengal to ensure that vehicles carrying food grains and other essential items, vegetables from the markets in and around Siliguri, oil tankers and trucks carrying LPG are not prevented from transporting them to Sikkim and there should be adequate security.