Fossil fuel in Nagaland
Unlike the creation of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh States which had gone peacefully, this time the reaction after the Act of Parliament granting statehood to Telengana has created much violent agitation across the country by those striving to achieve their very own Statehood. Assam being our very next door neighbour, the violent agitation in Karbi Anglong has the potential for hardships on many fronts for Nagaland in the near future if not check-mated in time. The immediate impact has been on the question of availability of fuel in all the petrol pumps. Tuesday (Aug 6) itself saw a very, very long queue in front of SKV Enterprises petrol pump just below the old D.C.’s bungalow on Kohima-Imphal road. Similar queues have been reported from across the State particularly from the rural townships. This was so because most people gave heed to rumour which might be true or not true that while Nagaland would never go (alcohol) dry come what may, fuel for vehicles might be depleted due to non-arrival of the usual continuous and regular supply by rail and road.
If the advocates of Telengana State have got their wish fulfilled, it is fine but why others are also getting into their act demanding a piece of the Statehood pie while understandable is also not necessarily encouraging trend. Instead of lauding the realization of Statehood which regrettably was through the mode of periodic but continuous agitation, various aspirants to statehood got into the game by declaring bandhs. Why resort to bandhs just off the cuff as it happened in Karbi Anglong and its affiliated Hamren Divison? Most anything can be resolved through talks and negotiations.
Unfortunately, the present impasse has come about primarily because of the spread of rumour that agitation might well be indefinite. Gossip, or rumour, means casual talk, chatter, informal the grapevine, hearsay, prattle, rumour, scandal, small talk, informal tattle, or tittle-tattle blab, Gossip –casual conversation or unproven reports about other people.
After some consultations with concerned bodies, it is learnt that as of now, there is no cause for concern, much less panic, where the availability of fuel is concerned. It is standard procedure that each District administration ensures stocks to last for about two months. When things are likely to go from bad to worse, the sale of fuel would eventually be regulated by the district administration authorities. The same reserve procedures are also supposed to be maintained for other consumer goods.
When it comers to the matter of fuel, then petrol, diesel and kerosene are not the only items involved. Reserves and supply of other related items like lubricants such as grease, gear oil, brake oil, vehicle spare parts eventually enter the picture.
Thus it may be reasonably assumed that when such situations arise some vested interests immediately project the idea of shortages in the fuel sector thus enticing drivers and owners of vehicles to go in for bulk buying and hoarding till such time the crisis is over. Private traders like one in Pherima are always ready to supply emergency need. Also, some enterprising BRTF truck drivers sell diesel to Sumos which ply between Kohima and Zunheboto via Chozuba and so on.
As such, the general public are hereby cautioned not to give in to rumours. As Solomon wrote in the Book of Proverbs, “Gossip is always delicious. everbody wants to taste it” much to the unnecessary loss of good intentions of the Government.