Hailakandi: A review meeting was held on the preparations on COVID-19 situation in Hailakandi with Minister for Agriculture, Atul Bora, Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Phani Bhushan Choudhury and Minister for Water Resources, Keshab Mahanta reviewing the situation with MLAs, the district administration, officials of concerned departments and traders on Sunday. Minister for Agriculture Atul Bora took stock of the availability of foodgrains and smooth flow of essential commodities in the district.
Bora asked the Deputy Commissioner to keep a tab on the wholesale and retail prices and to fix the prices to ensure uniformity so that no middlemen can take advantage of the situation during the lockdown.
The Agriculture Minister asked the Deputy Commissioner to ensure that agriculture seeds to be made available for the kharif season are properly distributed among the farmers. “We have to ensure production amid the coronavirus situation by maintaining social distancing during cultivation by the farmers in their agriculture fields,” Bora said, adding that 75,000 farmers of the State would be given seeds.
Bora asked the Deputy Commissioner and officials of Agriculture department to distribute the tractors to the farmers who have submitted the draft under the Mukhya Mantrir Krishi Sa-Sajuli Yojana as well as power tillers and shallow tubewells by maintaining social distancing. He also instructed the district officials to continue with the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.
The Agriculture minister said the department would soon start community nursery during the flood and also kitchen gardening and assured to extend help for the purpose.
On being inquired about the availability of vegetables, officials of agriculture department apprised the minister that vegetables procured locally and from outside the district are being delivered door-to-door through selected hawkers. District Agriculture Officer, Aniruddha Dutta informed the minister that 550 MT of vegetables have been delivered at the doorstep of the people through 434 hawkers in the urban and rural areas during the lockdown. He further informed that six numbers of wholesale dealers have been engaged for procurement of vegetables from outside the district benefitting 1250 farmers and 41200 consumers.
Bora asked the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Officer to keep sufficient stock of cattle feed, medicines and to continue with the artificial insemination drive during the lockdown. On being apprised about the shortage of cattle feed, the minister assured that he would do the needful. Bora also suggested opening WhatsApp groups for agriculturists and diary farmers.
Minister for Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Phani Bhushan Choudhury took stock of the availability of foodgrains in the district and asked the administration to ensure uninterrupted flow of essentials, NFSA rice to beneficiaries, Rs 1,000 to non card holders and benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi. Additional Director, Food Civil Supplies and Corporate Affairs, Ganesh Choudhury revealed that 200-300 quintals of rice are being distributed and that the flow of essentials is continuing ceaselessly. Choudhury said that 22,000 quintals of rice are in cold storage.
On the embezzlement of rice allotted to Mohonpur GPSS, the Minister directed the administration to take firm action against the persons and to file FIRs against them. Choudhury asked the Deputy Commissioner to distribute the seized rice among the beneficiaries.
Choudhury directed the district officials have been directed to take punitive measures against anyone indulging in hoarding or hiking price.
Additional Chief Secretary, Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Syedain Abbasi said he would facilitate lifting of rice from one to ten tonne at the rate of Rs.22.50 per kg from FCI if any NGO is willing to come forward.
On being inquired about the availability of essential commodities, the traders of Hailakandi and Lala informed that the stocked foodgrains would last for 20 days. The traders informed that there is shortage of rice and salt. Abassi told the traders that they could lift rice at the rate of Rs.22.50 per kg from the FCI against cash payment.