Andhra Pradesh region of Food Corporation of India has undertaken the challenging and novel task of dispatch of raw rice stocks from Visakhapatnam to Agartala in Tripura through multimodal transportation to meet PDS requirement.
The task involves transportation of stocks from Visakhapatnam Port to Diamond Harbour in Kolkata by a ship. At Diamond Harbour the stocks will be trans-shipped into barges and taken through river movement up to Bangladesh. Thereafter the stocks will transit Bangladesh through trucks and again from Bangladesh border to FCI depots in Agartala by trucks.
The entire movement is regulated by Protocol on Inland Water Trade and Treaty (PIWTT) signed between India and Bangladesh.
Movement of more rice consignment is likely in future through multimodal transportation due to gauge conversion work undertaken by Northeast Frontier Railways from October 1. Normalcy in train services are expected to be restored from March 2016.
Tripura Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Bhanulal Saha was quoted as saying in Agartala that they were expecting 35,000 tonnes more from Visakhapatnam in future.
FCI had awarded the multimodal transportation work for carrying initial quantity of 10,000 tonnes to Sarr Freights Corporation, a New Delhi-based firm.
The challenging task was achieved by FCI here by way of arranging priority berthing and loading facilities at Visakhapatnam Port and the ship m.v. Allcargo Laxmi with first consignment of 5,000 tonnes of rice sailed from the port on July 3. Subsequently, the second consignment of rice was dispatched on September 22 which was successfully delivered in Tripura, FCI Area Manager Senthil Kumar told The Hindu.
The novel venture opens up an alternate route when compared with conventional dispatch of stocks by rail-road movement hitherto done from Pubjab/Haryana to Tripura in view of frequent disruption due to various reasons.