Monday, August 9, 2010

FCI sends fresh supply to Manipur

Even as the economic blockade launched by the United Naga Council continues on National Highway 39, at least 60 trucks loaded with rice and sugar left for Imphal from depot of the Food Corporation of India at Dimapur. This is the only second time that a large consignment of essential commodities has been supplied in the past nearly four months from Dimapur to Imphal. Earlier, 14 trucks could reach Imphal after the 60 odd days of economic blockade was lifted. Talking to NETV, a top FCI official said that 14 trucks reached Manipur earlier and on Sunday, 60 more trucks with rice and sugar left for Imphal. He said that the FCI has no problems in transporting essential commodities to Manipur but truckers have decided not to ply through NH-39 after the economic blockade was imposed by the Naga organizations. He said that security escorts are being provided to trucks from Dimapur to Imphal. He said due to blockade, they were not able to lift the goods and transfer to Imphal, but they have no problems of storage as FCI godown are allowed to a maximum of 150%. On a query about reduction of racks, he agreed that they have reduced the number of racks at present, but the allocation of 8000 MT required for Nagaland is always available. When asked whether there was food scarcity in the Northeastern region, the FCI official said that there was no question of food scarcity in the region, but the FCI is not able to push the stocks to the respective states. He said more than 7000 MT is transported through Railways and because of truckers decision not to carry goods on old rates; they are reluctant to transport goods from the FCI. He further said that Tripura has more than 12000 MT of rice stock while stocks are also sufficient in South Assam. After a decade, Railways have been in a position to position 22 wagons at Jiribam in Manipur, where there is a 2500 MT capacity FCI depot. When asked whether there is any problem of storage of commodities in Manipur, Gogoi said earlier infrastructure was not adequate, but once the system sets in, there would be no problem. He said their strategy is to keep the godown full. He further said that NH-53 is an important route for transport of goods, but road conditions are not at par with the National Highways.


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