There is good news for people of Garo Hills in Meghalaya — the Food Corporation of India (FCI) will soon start transporting rake-loads of rice directly to Mendipathar in North Garo Hills district.
Sources said the Northeast Frontier Railway has set up infrastructure for a special siding for FCI at Mendipathar so that rice bags can be off-loaded easily from the railway rakes.
The rakes of Indian Railways will carry rice from different parts of India to Mendipathar, and will be transported to the food storages depots at Tura and Williamnagar.
A new 5,000 MT capacity food storage depot is also being set up in Mendipathar, the sources said.
Though the railway engineers have set up infrastructure for handling full rakes, the sources said the Foof Corporation of India is likely to start the operations at Mendipathar with half-rakes.
A half rake consists of 21 to 29 wagons, and each wagon has the capacity off carrying about 65 tons of rice.
The Food Corporation of India has already received all clearances for making the operations at Mendipathar, the sources said.
The General Manager (NEF) of FCI in Shillong is getting everything ready for the inauguration of the Mendipathar operation, the sources said, adding that the date of the launch has not been finalized as yet.
At present, the Food Corporation of India has been transshipping rice on trucks from Barpeta Road (in Lower Assam) to Tura and Williamnagar.
Inauguration of FCI’s operations at Mendipathar, the only railway head of Meghalaya will save huge money of the government, and will also be eco-friendly as it would save fossil fuels, especially diesel.
Once the operation at Mendipathar takes-off fully, the FCI may also start transporting rice to Garo hills of Meghalaya on full-rakes — 58 to 60 wagons.
Though the weigh bridge at Mendipathar is yet to be commissioned, the Foof Corporation of India has already made arrangements for a mobile weigh bridge.