Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has requested Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee to arrange for additional rakes to the state for movement of food grains immediately.
In a letter to Banerjee on Saturday, Reddy said short supply of rakes was severely hampering the movement of food grains, particularly paddy, leaving the produce exposed to the elements, thereby causing heavy losses to the farmers.
Andhra Pradesh produced 144 lakh tonnes of paddy this season. While 3.5 lakh tonnes of rice was being used every month for public distribution within the state, another four lakh tonnes was being sent to states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, the letter stated.
However, the railways arranged only 153 rakes each in April and May as against the requirement of 212 and 263 rakes respectively, the Chief Minister pointed out. Consequently, movement of food grains both within the state and outside was badly affected.
In order to maintain minimum support price to farmers, huge paddy is being procured by the Food Corporation of India as well as the state civil supplies corporation and there is an urgent need to store the paddy in various warehouses and move the surplus stocks to deficit areas in the country, he said.