|FCI to improve food grain supply to Northeast|
AGARTALA, Nov 25 (IANS) - The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has embarked on a Rs 550-crore project to broaden storage facilities and maintain uninterrupted supply of food grain to the northeastern states, a top official said here Thursday.
"The corporation has started implementation of the Rs 550-crore project to build big godowns, storage facilities in most of the districts of seven northeastern states," FCI chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) Syraj Hussain told reporters after holding meetings with Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Food Minister Manik Dey here.
"After extension of railway line in all the Northeast states, the regular supply (of food grain) would be 100 percent ensured.," Hussain said.
"Efforts are on to fully utilise the current storage capacities in the eight states and senior FCI officials are monitoring the supply of food grains," he added.
Meanwhile, a Tripura government official said that Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar is expected to hold a high-level meeting with food and civil supplies officials of all the northeastern states in Guwahati Friday and Saturday.
Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and southern and western Assam have been facing shortage of food grain and essential items due to occasional road blockades by protesting local organisations and disruption of railway services due to heavy rains during monsoon, besides terrain-related problems.
"Inadequate railway service to the hilly region is the main bottleneck to maintain uninterrupted supply of food grain and other essentials," Tripura Food Minister Manik Dey said.
The FCI official has also in principle agreed to set up a regional office in Agartala and a divisional office at northern Tripura's Dharmanagar city to supervise the supply of food grain to the land-locked northeastern state, bordering Bangladesh.