NEW DELHI: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday said cargo flights with essential commodities and medical equipment are reaching the northeastern region regularly and there is no dearth of any item. Singh also said a consignment of 30,000 N-95 masks has already been dispatched to Guwahati for distribution in the entire region.
"Regular cargo supplies, including essential commodities and medical equipment, are reaching the northeast and there is no dearth of any item nor any possibility of any dearth in the days to come," he said in a statement.
Singh, the Union minister of state for Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region, said soon after the declaration of the lockdown, a decision was taken following an intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that cargo flights carrying essential supplies will be operated on priority to the northeastern region as well as other distant regions, including Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
He said that thereafter, cargo flights by Air India as well as the Indian Air Force started operating. Giving details, the minister said the first consignment through Air India landed in Guwahati on March 30 night. On March 31, an Indian Air Force cargo flight landed at Dimapur in Nagaland.
He said that since then, consignments are regularly being delivered through cargo flights. "Nagaland and Manipur have so far received three huge consignments each," Singh said. On the demand for the face masks, the minister said a consignment of 30,000 N-95 masks has already been dispatched to Guwahati for further distribution in the region.
He appreciated the efforts of self-help groups, which have come forward to prepare masks and sanitisers through their own efforts. Singh said arrangements are in place for delivering consignments at short notice in future. "There is also a mechanism in place for real-time monitoring and we are in constant touch with all the state governments," he said.
At the same time, Singh informed that the international borders measuring about 5,500 kms in the northeast stand fully sealed. "This has, in turn, helped in containing the spread of coronavirus," he said. The northeast shares borders with China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.