Will supply foodgrains to cyclone-hit Andhra: Paswan

Amidst shortage of essential food items in the cyclone-hit Andhra Pradesh, the Centre on Tuesday said it is ready to supply foodgrains to the affected region.

New Delhi: Amidst shortage of essential food items in the cyclone-hit Andhra Pradesh, the Centre on Tuesday said it is ready to supply foodgrains to the affected region.

"We are ready to provide all kind of support to the cyclone-affected areas. We have foodgrains stock. We are ready to supply foodgrains immediately if the state government demands," Food Minister Paswan said on the sidelines of an event here.

When asked about the steps the government is taking to stop hoarders who are creating artificial scarcity of essential commodities in the cyclone-hit region, Paswan said: "Under the Food Ministry, all possible action will be taken."

As on September 1, the Centre had 47.68 million tonnes of rice and wheat in its godowns, much higher than the actual requirement, as per the government data.

After the devastation caused by Cyclone Hudhud, Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh has been hit by shortage of essential food items with people scrambling for milk, drinking water, vegetables and petrol even as the power supply is yet to be restored.

People in the affected areas have said that drinking water and milk costing Rs 20 (each) are being sold for Rs 50 as black-marketeers are having a field day.

According to the state government, about 2.5 lakh people in 320 villages of 44 mandals (blocks) in the districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and East Godavari are affected by the cyclonic devastation.