Two ships, Induruweli and Yala, have reached Jaffna peninsular, carrying a total of 5,200 metric tonnes of wheat flour. Unloading of the cargo is already underway. The flour will be distributed to consumers in the peninsular through cooperative outlets. The prices of bakery products which rose very sharply also came down drastically with the availability of wheat flour without any restriction.
Ships carrying essential food and other items now berth at Northern Harbours at regular intervals as part of the government's strategy to maintain an uninterrupted supply chain to Jaffna. As a result, scarcities have become a thing of the past in the Jaffna peninsular as gathered from reports in newspapers published in the Jaffna peninsular.
Sources at the Jaffna Government Agent's Office said that the flour will be sold at Rs.48/- per kilogram at the old price, which is less than price charged for the commodity in other parts of the country.
The Office of the Commissioner of Essential Services confirmed the arrival of the latest consignments.
Potatoes, which form the substance of and add flavour to the food prepared by the people of Jaffna, are now imported from India for distribution in the peninsular. Officials said that 47 metric tonnes of potatoes, carried by the ship 'Ruhunu', are currently being unloaded.
The unloading operations at the Jaffna ports were carried out under the supervision of the Government Agent for Jaffna, K. Ganeshan.
New buses to strengthen public transport services
Violence unleashed by the LTTE also disrupted public transport services in the Peninsular. Furthermore, lack of spare parts had an impact on the number of school buses being operated by the Central Transport Board.
Immediately after this situation was brought to the attention of the authorities concerned, the spares as well as 18 new buses were sent by ship last month.
As a further move to strengthen the public transport services in the peninsular, the government yesterday sent 15 more new buses by ship to Jaffna.
The buses and spare parts sent to Jaffna are valued at nearly Rs.100 million.
The Ministry of Transport said that spare parts, 200 spare tyres and tool kits were also sent with the latest consignment of buses. The new buses will be deployed at the Jaffna, Point Pedro and Karai Nagar Transport Board Depots.
Commenting on certain Tamil media reports published today that public transport services remain paralyzed in the Jaffna peninsular for lack of spares and tyres, a Transport Ministry spokesperson said that the situation would return to normal in the next few days.
The government has implemented a well planned and carefully laid out strategy to supply the Jaffna peninsular with essential food and other items. The government was compelled to use the sea route since it has become unsafe to allow transport of goods through the A-9 highway due to targeted attacks by the LTTE.