Punjab has 167 lakh metric tonne (LMT) food grain storage capacity in its godowns, including covered storage capacity of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the state agencies, for storing the central pool foodgrain stock.
The total covered grain storage facility in Haryana is 89 LMT and in Himachal Pradesh of 0.95 LMT. Sharing this information in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Union minister of state for food and public distribution Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti informed that as on November 1, the country has covered grain storage facility of 762 LMT.In addition to this, storage capacity available with the central warehousing corporation is 115 LMT, out of which 28 LMT capacity is being used by the FCI, which mainly stores wheat and rice after procurement for public distribution system operation and to maintain buffer stock.
In Punjab, the FCI has own covered storage capacity of 27 LMT and has hired nearly 93 LMT storage capacity. Whereas in the neighbouring state of Haryana, the FCI owns nearly 9 LMT and has hired over 34 LMT covered storage. Also, in the month of October, the FCI had floated tenders for hiring private godowns for the storage of 14 LMT grains in Punjab.
The Union minister, in her written reply to a question, further added that the FCI continuously assesses and monitors the storage capacity and based on the storage gap assessment, storage capacities are created or hired. The requirement of storage capacity in FCI depends upon the level of procurement, requirement of buffer norms and PDS operations mainly for rice and wheat. In order to keep storage infrastructure robust and upgraded, nearly 180 LMT covered and plinth has been phased out, which has ruled out any chance of quality issue.
The food and public distribution department is building modern silos in public-private partnership mode to modernise storage of food grains and ramp-up the country’s storage capacity . As on November 1, over 5 LMT silo capacity is being utilized under circuit model, rail side silos of over 14 LMT capacity at 29 locations have been put into operation and silos of 9 LMT at 18 locations are under construction, she said.
In the first phase of the ‘Hub and Spoke’ model, tender for capacity of 34.875 LMT silos at 80 locations have been awarded and concession agreements have been signed.