IMPHAL, January 22: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for CAF&PD, Prof KV Thomas today inaugurated the regional office of Food Corporation of India, Manipur Regional at the Old Assembly Complex.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by chief minister of the state, Okram Ibobi Singh; deputy CM Gaikhangam; state CAF & PD and Education minister, M Okendro; MP of Lok Shaba, Dr Th Meinya; MP of Lok Shaba Thangso Baite; C&MD, Food Corporation of India, C Viswanath; ministers; MLAs; Chairman of Hill Area and other officials of the state attended the function.
Addressing at the gathering, Prof KV Thomas stated that construction of new godowns under the five-year plans will be taken up soon in other district headquarter as soon as the proposals for acquisition of lands is completed by state government. The construction of godowns at Thoubal and Churachandpur with a capacity of 2500 metric ton each has already started, he added.
He further asserted that the Government of India has taken up necessary actions necessary for implementation of the Food Security Act like construction of godowns, selection of beneficiaries, and added that the newly inaugurated Food Corporation of India Regional Office in the state will play a critical role in catering the requisite volume of grain and execution of the Act.
The problem in the state at the moment is in the transportation of grains from other states which is due to the bad road connectivity, he said and continued that a key requisite of the Act is adequate infrastructure for the storage of the grains. The GoI is very concern on this matter, he stated.
Prof KV Thomas lauded the initiative taken by the Chief Minister of the state for setting up of the regional office in the state.
Okram Ibobi promised that the government of the state will try to implement the Food Security Act within this year, although he admitted that it will be a imposing task.
Meanwhile, he added that the state government should ensure the stocking of adequate amounts of grains for three months at least.
Chief Minster stated that the construction of godowns at Churachadpur and Thoubal is in good progress and the inspection for construction of new godowns at Imphal East and Bishnupur district have begun. He appealed to the Food Corporation of India to assist in payment of compensation for the lands acquired.
He further said that the local production of grain is insufficient so there is a need to enhance the storage capacity and government of Manipur will render all help to FCI. He also proposed construction of FCI godown phase II at Malom instead of Jiribam.
He also mentioned that the Ministry of Railways and Civil Aviation had instructed the building of a temporary bridge at Maku and Barak, as connectivity is the key to development.
CAF & PD and Education minister, M Okendro expressed that opening of regional office in the state is a landmark accomplishment and fulfilment of a cherished dream, which was achieved under the guidance of CM.
He continued that NH-39 have various problems most of the time which restricted connectivity. The requirement of grains of the state is approximately 5.5 lakh metric ton whereas the state produce approximately 3.7 lakh metric ton, so there is a need of 1.8 lakh metric ton which needed to be imported from other states, he added.