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Posted at: Apr 17, 2018, 1:15 AM; last updated: Apr 17, 2018, 1:15 AM (IST)

Wheat storage: Officials asked for optimum utilisation of space

104 lakh metric tonnes of wheat is expected to arrive this rabi season
Wheat storage: Officials asked for optimum utilisation of space
Overstuffing is expected at the grain markets. File photo

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 16

Wheat harvesting in the district has begun but the government stares at the shortage of space for storing 69 lakh metric tonnes in the state.

It has prompted the Department of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs to ask its field staff to ensure optimum utilisation of space. Sources in the department say that it will result in overstuffing in godowns.

In a communique to district heads, it was stated that the procurement agencies were expected to procure 104 lakh metric tonnes of wheat during the current rabi season. Out of it, about 69 lakh metric tonnes of wheat is likely to be stored in the covered storage to ensure optimum utilisation of the available capacity.

“It was also decided to increase the stock capacity of wheat in the covered storage from 150 metric tonnes to 170 metric tonnes for the state procuring agencies,” said an official.

The Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC) has proposed a revised dome formation with steep slopes giving protection from rainwater stagnation, thereby avoiding damage of stocks stored in the covered space. It was decided to implement this revised formation in all the state procuring agencies from the financial year 2018-2019. District officials have been requested to ensure compliance of the same.

Experts are of the view that the recommendation of MS Swaminathan Committee and the ambitious dream of the NDA government to increase modern and scientific grain storage hasn’t been given a serious thought in the state.

Persons in the know-how of the status of the grain storage in the state say there is a shortage of space to store 45 lakh tonnes of grain. In order to fill the gap, the previous SAD-BJP government under a flagship scheme of the NDA government decided to raise state-of-the-art silos for storing 17 lakh tones of grain.

Under the ‘build, own and operate scheme’, about 10 investors were roped in the state and they invested about Rs 150 crore to raise the required infrastructure. However, the ambitious project hangs fire as it awaits nod from the current government. These silos have been approved by the National Green Tribunal and are much better than the conventional storage capacities.

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