The Champai Vehicles Association has indefinitely blocked the transport of imported goods from Burma’s No. 2 Border Trading Camp near Rihkhawdar, Chin State, into Zokhawthar, in Mizoram’s Champai District.
Imported materials and local products from Burma are typically transported through this route to Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram State, through Zokhawthar and Champhai. These goods are then sent onwards to other Mizoram districts.
The March 26 decision to block products coming from across the border in Rihkhawdar occurred after a dispute between the respective transportation associations of Zokhawthar and Champai.
The Zokhawthar Vehicle Association had managed the rotation of vehicles for transportation and had set prices for the transport of materials without engaging in negotiations with the All Vehicle Association under the Champhai Trade Union.
According to Pu Cheng Liang Ner, the Ward 1 administrator in Rihkhawdar, the district vehicle association was unhappy with the local Zokhawthar vehicle association and declared the ban.
“It has happened because of the dispute between the Zokhawthar and Champhai vehicle associations. The Champhai Vehicle Association isn’t satisfied with the vehicle rotation managed by Zokhawthar’s vehicle association. That’s why they blocked it,” Pu Cheng Liang Ner told Khonumthung.
Lallawmpuia, a Zokhawthar resident, told Khonumthung that many materials and products have been dumped in the community since the blockade began on Wednesday.
“They are blocking every transportation vehicle, including those carrying vegetables and fruit. Therefore, imported goods from Burma are dumped in Zokhawthar in Mizoram as well as in Tio in Burma. It will effect border trading,” Lallawmpuia said.
Vehicle associations in Zokhawthar and Champhai have had past disputes over the control of the transport of imports; this is the most recent such disagreement.