Shillong, Aug. 19: The Meghalaya government will send more trucks to the FCI godown in Assam to lift public distribution system items, especially rice, to avoid scarcity in the state.
The carriage contractors in Assam refused to lift PDS items after there was a restriction of carrying only 9 metric tonnes of load.
Meghalaya chief secretary W.M.S. Pariat said the matter was being reviewed by district authorities and more trucks were placed at their disposal to lift rice directly from the FCI godown in Assam.
Pariat said the government was concerned about the stand of the carriage contractors, but at the same time wanted to make sure that the stock of rice in the FCI godowns of the state were not depleted. “To ensure that adequate stock is available, we are requisitioning trucks to carry the rice from FCI to the state.”
East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner J. Lyngdoh said the situation was being monitored by the district administration to ensure that there was no shortage of rice in the district godowns.
He said following the stand of the carriage contractors, it was the FCI officials in Guwahati who had directed the Meghalaya government to arrange for trucks , which would carry the PDS items directly from the godown.
He said the present system would continue till the FCI sorted out the problem with the contractors. “The FCI in Guwahati assured the Meghalaya government that the transportation costs would be reimbursed at the rate FCI was paying to the carriage contractors,” Lyngdoh said.
Garo hills region is affected because of its distance from Assam as well as the state headquarters, Shillong.
Very often, the district authorities find it difficult to get adequate number of trucks to lift rice from Guwahati.
Concerned over this, food and civil supplies minister Augustine Marak enquired about the matter and asked the district authorities to ensure that there was no shortage of rice in Garo hills.