Initiatives to ensure adequate foodgrain supply to North-East

The Centre on Saturday said it has increased allocation of foodgrain to above poverty line (APL) families to 35 kg per family every month in Assam and other North-Eastern states from August this year.

Updated: Oct 02, 2010, 21:36 PM IST

New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday said it has increased allocation of foodgrain to above poverty line (APL) families to 35 kg per family every month in Assam and other
North-Eastern states from August this year.

"Considering the requests of some of the states and the conditions prevailing in NE Region, the government has increased APL allocation to 35 Kg per family per month to
Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura and Sikkim from August, 2010," a Food and Consumer Affairs ministry statement said.
This has benefited states specially Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya where earlier APL quota was only 19.9, 13.2 and 22.1 kg per month respectively only. At present, all the NE states are being allocated maximum foodgrain of 35 kg per family under Targetted Public
Distribution System (TPDS), it added.

Under the open market sales scheme, a total of 3.38 lakh tonnes has been allocated, of which 1.08 lakh tonne has been lifted by state governments. Now this scheme has been extended up to March 2011 so that states take full advantage of this.
Considering the fact that NE region has inadequate storage facility at 4.58 lakh tonne, the department has taken up various schemes including constructing godowns under plan funds which are under different stage of progress.

However, taking into the consideration the specific difficulties of NE Region, the department has made a proposal to the ministry of Home Affairs for the construction of
godowns totalling 5.25 lakh tonne at an estimated cost of Rs 568 crore for augmentation of storage capacity of foodgrains.
There have been recent problem in the movement of foodgrains in NE region due to transportation problems because of non-cooperation by the transport contractors, landslides, blocking of Lumding rail line, agitations and road blocks in Manipur and some parts of NE Region etc.

"We have been trying our best to resolve all these issues, which are specific to the regions and ensure timely supply of adequate food grain to the NE states," it said. Considering the geographical location and inaccessibility of Arunachal Pradesh, the government has opened an independent regional office for Arunachal Pradesh at Itanagar.

PTI