Elephants are being used to help trucks pass the 20-km stretch of NH8 connecting Tripura with Assam

More than 4,500 trucks are now stranded on National Highway 8, which connects Tripura to the rest of the country, as heavy rains, mudslides and water-logging has turned a 20 km-stretch of the crucial road into slush.

Petrol is being sold at Rs 200 to 250 per litre in some places as supplies of essential goods including medicines, fuel and food have been cut off for days.

Tripura revenue minister Badal Chowdhury told news agency IANS that to counter the shortage of supplies, efforts are being made to transport goods through Bangladesh.

Bad weather and incessant rains have prevented repairs on the road from moving ahead with most of the trucks stranded on the Assam-Tripura border in Assam’s Karimganj district.

Condition of the NH8 connecting Assam with Tripura
Condition of the NH8 connecting Assam with Tripura

Assam Governor PB Acharya visited the spot and said he would ask the Assam government to coordinate with the Centre and expedite repairs. “There is no dearth of money. Such a situation should be rectified immediately,” he said.

An official of the food and civil supplies department said almost all the 60 petrol pumps in the state are dry for the past several weeks.

Earlier this week, Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari tweeted that he has instructed officials to work on a war-footing to restore the NH-8, also known by its old name of National Highway 44, to improve connectivity with Tripura.

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