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FCI to increase storage capacity in northeast

FCI to increase storage capacity in northeastGuwahati, Sep 18 : The Food Corporation of India (FCI) will create an additional capacity for storing 5.4 lakh tonnes of food grain in the northeastern states, including Sikkim, with a total allocation of Rs. 568.17 crore, it was announced here.

FCI chairman and managing director C. Viswanath said Wednesday this decision was taken considering the strategic importance of the region, and that FCI has also prepared a special package plan for the north east.

He said of the allocated amount, Rs. 458.56 crore was earmarked for storage construction during 12th Five-Year Plan.

"For FCI, augmenting storage capacity has been a continuous process and primarily financed by planned resources. In 2009-10, Private Entrepreneur Guarantee (PEG) scheme was introduced to engage private investments in storage capacity creation," he said.

FCI had also made tremendous efforts to coordinate with state governments, even district authorities to acquire land for these projects, he added.

"Though there has been initial inertia, works are picking up now."

Viswanath also reviewed the progress of storehouse construction in the region with FCI officials and state machinery Wednesday and expressed his satisfaction over the work.

"Now, there is good progress. Of 49 projects, 19 of 100,060 tonne capacity (nine in Arunachal Pradesh, four in Assam, two each in Manipur and Nagaland, one each in Meghalaya and Tripura) are under construction. One project at Hailakandi, Assam, and two at Jiribam and Senapati in Manipur have already been completed and made storage worthy," he added.

"Land has been acquired further for six projects of 128,500 tonne capacity. Efforts have been made to get land notified in five more projects. It is expected land acquisition phase will be over and construction will be underway for rest of the projects," he said.

With a total outlay of Rs. 80.76 crore available for this year, it is expected more than 53,000 tonne-capacity would be completed and be available for food grain storage by the end of the current financial year, he said.(IANS)