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Rice, Sugar Stocks Outgrow Storage Capacity

IMPHAL, Jan 22: Rice and sugar being stocked at Jiribam FCI godown are now accumulating beyond the storage capacity of the go-down. However, these essential commodities cannot be brought to Imphal due to the failure of FCI-appointed transport contractor M/S Zimomi Traders to supply the required number of transport trucks.

Even as the FCI officials at Jiribam are facing a hard time as sugar and rice brought there have accumulated beyond the storage capacity of the godown, a train carrying 750 metric tonnes of sugar arrived there today. This was at a time when FCI officials were unable to clear a consignment of sugar brought to the go-down yesterday, informed a source.

Earlier the State Government used to ship rice and sugar through FCI from Jiribam to Imphal but this was suspended when the FCI stopped requisition of vehicles since December 27 last. On the other hand, M/S Zimomi Traders, which was nominated by the FCI for transportation of rice and sugar from Jiribam godown to Imphal, has been unable to provide the required transport vehicles. This has resulted in complete breakdown in shipping essential commodities from Jiribam to Imphal.

Zimomi Traders could not supply more than 19 vehicles between January 20 and 21.

Counting some 140/150 vehicles which reached Jiri-bam yesterday for transportation of goods, there are around 200 vehicles at Jiri-bam presently but none of these trucks have been loaded.

These trucks have not been loaded because their owners and drivers no longer wish to lease out their vehicles to M/S Zimomi Traders as the transport contractor has failed to pay their transport charges.

The State Government should requisition adequate number of vehicles to ship in rice and sugar from Jiribam godown to build up buffer stock at Imphal ahead of the next rainy season.

The FCI too should nominate more transport con- tractors as the lone contractor has failed to supply the required vehicles in order to ferry rice and sugar from Jiribam godown which is now over-flooded by these essential items, added the source.

Some officials are also wondering at the reluctance of the FCI to requisition adequate number of vehicles to ferry goods along Imphal-Jiribam road where-as the same FCI has requisitioned more than 300 vehicles for transportation goods along Imphal-Dimapur highway.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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