Northeast Frontier Railway efforts in supply of Fertilizers for the Farmers of Manipur lauded

Chief Minister of Manipur N.Biren Singh appreciated the efforts of Indian Railways for running Freight Trains carrying fertilizers for the farmers of Manipur during the all-important sowing season.

MALIGAON: The Chief Minister of Manipur, Shri N. Biren Singh has appreciated the efforts of Northeast Frontier Railway for running Freight Trains carrying fertilizers for the farmers of Manipur during the all-important sowing season.

In a letter written to the Railway Minister Shri Piyush Goyal yesterday, the Chief Minister had said that “non-availability of fertilizers was creating a huge problem and would have adversely affected the agricultural production of the state”.

The Chief Minister thanked the Railways Minister for taking immediate steps in arranging a freight train on August 28 to carry fertilizers from the Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporations’ Namrup plant to Jiribam, the only rail-head in Manipur.

It may be mentioned that N. F. Railway had arranged 21 wagons on priority basis within three and-a-half hours of receiving the request on 28th August to carry 1319 Metric Tonne of Neem Coated UREA from Namrup to Jiribam for the distressed farmers at the request of the Chief Minister. These were carried by two separate freight trains.

The trains were run on priority basis in the night of 28th August and they reached Jiribam in the morning of 30th September. The arrival of the fertilizers ahead of the main crop season is likely to help the farmers immensely.

Manipur was brought to the broad gauge railway network on 27th May 2016 when Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi flagged off 55665/55666 Jiribam – Silchar Passenger train – the 1st BG train connecting the state. At present, work is going on in full swing in the Jiribam – Tupul – Imphal new broad gauge line project.

A large number of farmers recently raised an uproar at the Sanjenthong office of Agriculture Department against the department’s failure to provide fertilizers even after money was deposited in advance. Subsequently, Assistant Fertilizer Officer (AFO) K Kullabidhu was suspended on August 27 in connection with the department’s failure to provide fertilizers to farmers. Many CSOs too asked the State Government to ensure that adequate fertilizers are made available to farmers at subsidised rates.

Taking serious note of the growing pressure from different directions, the State Government took up special measures to ensure that fertilizers are available to farmers. Subsequent upon the State Government’s initiative, a train comprising of 21 compartments laden with Urea reached Jiribam from Namrup last week too. Loading Urea on trucks for onward journey to Imphal has already begun from Jiribam and are expected to reach Imphal within the next couple of days and problem of scarcity of fertilizers is likely to be resolved soon.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Department started distribution of fertilizers to farmers through District Agriculture Offices on production of pattas of paddy fields since yesterday. Farmers can be seen in long queues in front of DAOs. But some farmers have lodged complaints that the price of subsidised Urea charged by different DAOs is not uniform.

The price of Urea per bag of 45 Kg capacity is Rs 266.80.There are complaints that one Urea bag costs Rs 310 at Thoubal and Rs 290 at Bishnupur. Railways had shipped another 1500 MT of Urea by special train.