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FCI to increase stock & godowns

- Move to add storage capacity

Dhubri, Oct. 5: The Food Corporation of India (FCI) is planning to increase the buffer stock of essential commodities and construct its own godowns in the districts in view of prolonged unrest in the lower Assam districts.

It has also floated a tender for a pilot project of multi-model riverine transport at two points of Assam — one from Dibrugarh to Dhemaji via Bogibeel and other from Dibrugarh to Pasighat via Bogibeel — a source in the state FCI said.

The source added that they were exploring the possibility of using the Brahmaputra National Waterways 2 to transport FCI goods to Assam from other parts of India.

However, FCI will construct its own godowns in Kokrajhar with storage capacity of 30,000 metric tonnes, Bongaigaon with 25,000MT, Barpeta with 25,000MT in lower Assam, while Silchar will have godowns of 25,000MT storage capacity, Karimganj (5,000 MT), Tezpur (25,000MT), Dibrugarh (25,000MT) and Nagaon (50,000MT), the source added.

The source said the land proposal for the most of the godowns has been accepted and work would start soon.

The FCI godown at Hailakandi, with a storage capacity of 5,000 MT, was completed and commissioned a few months ago. All the FCI godowns would be located along railway stations to facilitate smooth unloading of goods, the source added.

General manager Lakheswar Saikia, who has been visiting lower Assam, told The Telegraph here today that they are keen to explore the possibilities of river transport.

“Assam has storage capacity of 2.75 lakh MT but FCI is going to add 3.45MT. Hence, the state will have a total storage capacity of 6.20MT. The monthly requirement is 1.5MT and we are going to keep at least three months’ buffer stock,” Saikia said.

On the Dhubri godown on RK Mission Road, Saikia said it has a capacity to store 10,000MT but the requirement had increased to 14,500MT.

The surplus is being kept at Gossaigaon and Kokrajhar and for some time in Bongaigaon.

The Dhubri FCI godown is in an area with dilapidated roads and lacks parking space.

Saikia said they were in touch with the district administration to acquire land in Dhubri to construct the godown.