Guwahati, Oct 27: Several transporters, transport workers and traders’ unions of Goalpara district in western Assam have under the aegis of All Assam Students’ Union decided to stage an indefinite economic blockade on all routes from the district to Garo Hills from October 29 in protest against the entry restrictions imposed by Meghalaya on traders and transporters from Assam because of the pandemic.
Sources said that along with the influential AASU as many as 40 organisations are staging the economic blockade.
“We had a meeting today (under the aegis of AASU, Goalpara unit) at Krishnai as a follow up to the one held at Dudhnoi on October 16 and decided to go ahead with the indefinite economic blockade from 5am on Thursday. The blockade will be imposed on all routes leading to Garo Hills between Dhupdhara and Lakhipur.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya’s health department issued revised entry and exit protocols, exempting entrants who produce a COVlD-negative report at the entry point from testing, irrespective of their state of origin.
“Visitors coming for a specific purpose (business, examinations, industry, work, personal distress, etc.) to Meghalaya for a short duration of five days or less are exempted from quarantine on production of a COVID-Negative RAT report from a recognised laboratory. The report will be valid only if they were tested within 48 hours of their arrival at the entry point,” the order stated.
The Goalpara deputy commissioner had on October 20 assured that free COVID tests would be conducted on transporters and traders from Assam.
Sources informed that the Goalpara Deputy Commissioner had taken up the matter with the North Garo Hills district administration and accordingly traders who owned shops in the Meghalaya district were allowed to open their shops after online applications and adherence to COVID tests and quarantine protocols.
About 70 per cent businessmen from Goalpara district have trade connections in Garo Hills. Besides, over 200 tourist vehicles (wingers and buses) from the district ply to Garo Hills every day.