India asks B'desh to allow 35,000 tons PDS grains to NE via sea

Tags: News
India has asked Bangladesh to permit a shipment of 35,000 tonnes of PDS foodgrains every month via sea route in view of difficulty to be faced from October with the start of gauge conversion work in North East.

"During a recent visit to Bangladesh, we requested it to allow transportation of 35,000 tonnes of PDS foodgrains every month via sea route to the north eastern states," a senior Food Ministry official said.

A trial run to see the practicality of shipping has already been undertaken. The first shipment of 5,000 tonnes of rice has already reached Agartala from Visakhapattanam, Andhra Pradesh via Ashuganj port in Bangladesh, the official said, adding that another vessel of 5,000 tonnes will be followed.

From October 1, there will megablock of railways at Lumding in Assam for gauge conversion work affecting foodgrains movement. The shipment of foodgrains via Bangladesh would help ease burden of transporting via roadways.

The government supplies monthly about one lakh tonnes of PDS foodgrains to the north eastern states -- Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and Assam. Of which, 60 per cent is transported via railways and the rest through roadways.

The official said that efforts are being made to transport more grains via roadways but not much load can be pushed due to poor condition of highways in the region.

Road movement has started from new rail terminals at Baihata and Jagi road in Assam. Foodgrains to Manipur are being supplied from Furkating Railhead in Assam, he added.

Last week, Mizoram Food Minister John Rotluangliana had met Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and requested him to ensure smooth supply of PDS foodgrains from October onwards.

As per official data, the state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) has stocked 4.03 lakh tonnes of grains as on August 4, against the storage space of 4.7 lakh tonnes.

Noting that the Centre has asked north eastern states to identify additional storage space and take direct delivery from FCI to build up extra stocks with them, the official said that "however except for Tripura, no state has come forward."

The government supplies rice and wheat at subsidised rates via public distribution system (PDS) to the poor.

EDITORIAL OF THE DAY

  • India’s political space acts as a safety valve for maverick politicians and frustrated electorate

    While it is easy to be cynical about Indian democracy and its ways, the fact is that the vast political space that the system provides for in this cou

FC NEWSLETTER

Stay informed on our latest news!

INTERVIEWS

Sarthak Raychaudhuri

vice-president, HR, Asia South Whirlpool of India

GV Nageswara Rao

MD & CEO, IDBI Federal Life

Timothy Moe

Goldman Sachs

TODAY'S COLUMNS

Taslima Nasreen

Bangladesh no country for atheists

It’s a matter of pride to be a freethinker, atheist ...

Purnendu Ghosh

Silence makes you aware of yourself

Often, we don’t feel the necessity of making contact with ...

Shona Adhikari

Artistic focus on women's empowerment

The focus on the girl child remains an important one ...

INTERVIEWS

William D. Green

Chairman & CEO, Accenture