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Food grains silos to come up on port premises

Wednesday, 22 July 2015 | 00:00
Cochin Port Trust, taking a cue from its recent experience of not having enough workers to bag and evacuate more than 30,000 tonnes of wheat that arrived here from Australia in early June, has decided to set up modern silos and related infrastructure like pneumatic pumping system for food grains.

The port authority has invited bids for leasing out 1.21 hectares for a period of 30 years on annual lease rent basis for setting up the silos for food grains. The designated area for the facility is in the backup area of Quay 8 berth on Willingdon Island.

The land is being offered on lease on the tender-cum-auction route on an assured minimum guaranteed throughput.

The consignment of wheat that arrived at the port here on June 8 was initially held up as the workers designated for the job of bagging the wheat demanded higher wages.

The consignment was imported for a flour mill in Kozhikode. It was the first consignment of wheat to arrive in Kochi after a gap of 10 years. The Port authority had expressed concerns at the image of the port being tarnished because of its inability to timely evacuate bulk cargo arriving at the port. The Port’s move to get silos and other facilities for food grains at the port is also based on Kerala’s dependence on other States for food grains like rice and wheat.

According to government estimates, the State produces only about 15 per cent of its food grains requirement. Kerala imports the entire quantity of pulses it requires. The port authority’s conclusion is that the State has to import 2.5 million tonnes rice and four lakh tonnes of wheat from outside the State every year. The Food Corporation of India supplies 1.3 million tonnes of rice and 1.8 lakh tonnes of wheat annually to the State. These consignments reach Kerala by rail.

Mechanisation and state-of-the-art storage facilities for food grains and pulses at Kochi port would be able to attract serious business, the port authority has said.
Source: The Hindu

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