The Telegraph
Thursday , January 9 , 2014
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Cabinet nod to 131 foodgrain godowns

The cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod for construction of 131 godowns across the state at an estimated cost of Rs 506.15 crore.

“The cabinet sanctioned Rs 506.15 crore for creation of additional storage capacity of 5.50 lakh tonnes in the state,” cabinet secretariat department principal secretary Brajesh Mehrotra said.

The godowns would be constructed with the loans that would be made available through Nabard’s Warehouse Infrastructure Fund (WIF) in 2013-14, Mehrotra said, adding that Bihar State Building Construction Corporation would construct 131 godowns on pre-fabricated structure mode.

The decision assumes significance against the backdrop of the fact that the government wants to implement its ambitious agriculture roadmap and Food Security Act, sources said.

In order to implement the food security scheme, the government would require a storage capacity of at least 13 lakh tonnes against the state government’s storage capacity of 4.35 lakh tonnes besides the Food Corporation of India’s storage capacity of 5.82 lakh tonnes in the state. The Nitish Kumar government is expected to implement the Food Security Act by February-giving it a political boost in the pre-Lok Sabha polls period.

The act proposes to provide 5kg of foodgrain per person every month — rice at Rs 3 per kg, wheat at Rs 2 per kg and cereals at Re 1 per kg. It will cover 85 per cent of the rural population and 74 per cent of urban population.

In another decision, the cabinet also sanctioned Rs 333.64 crore for implementation of water supply scheme in 24 municipalities, Mehrotra said. Some of the municipal councils where the scheme would be implemented are Jehanabad, Biharsharif, Saharsa, Sitamarhi, Nawada, Araria, Gopalganj, Masaurhi, Raxaul, Sultanganj.

The nagar panchayats where the scheme would be implemented include Sheohar, Dhaka, Kesaria, Ram Nagar, Jagdishpur, Fatuha among others, he said.

The cabinet also sanctioned Rs 1.67 crore for the State Commission for Upper Castes, he said, adding that the money would be utilised for meeting the expenditure on payment of salaries and other items.

It also transferred 3.5 acres of land to labour resources department for setting up an Industrial Training Institute (ITI) at Bhabhua in Kaimur district, Mehrotra said, adding that the cabinet gave its nod to seven other decisions on Wednesday’s meeting.