Movement plays a very important role in the working of FCI as well as in fulfilling the objectives of Food Policy and National Food Security Act.
FCI undertakes movement of foodgrains in order to :
Evacuate stocks from surplus regions
Meet the requirements of deficit regions
Create buffer stocks in deficit regions
Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh are the surplus States in terms of wheat procurement vis-a-vis their own consumption. Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha are surplus States in terms of rice procurement vis-à-vis their own consumption. Surplus stocks of wheat and rice available in these States are moved to deficit States to meet the requirements under TPDS and other schemes as well as to create buffer stocks.
40 to 50 million tonnes of foodgrains are transported by FCI across the country in a year. FCI undertakes massive movement operation of foodgrains all over the country encompassing around 2000 FCI depots (owned + hired) , 440 rail-heads (owned by Indian Railways and others) and 103 FCI own sidings.
Movement Plan is prepared on monthly basis keeping in view :
Quantity available in surplus regions
Quantity required by deficit regions
Vacant storage capacity both in consuming as well as procuring regions
Monthly allotment/ off take of foodgrains
Mode Of Transportation
Around 90% of stocks are moved by rail and rest are moved by road. Inter-State movement by road is mainly undertaken in those parts of the country which are not connected by rail. A small quantity is also moved by ocean vessels to Lakshadweep and A&N Islands as well as through coastal shipping and riverine movement to Kerala/Agartala (Tripura).
FCI has 103 own Railway sidings, where foodgrain rakes are placed directly at FCI depots. Other than that foodgrain stocks are transported ‘to and fro’ from the nearest rail-heads of Indian Railways.
FCI has been able to ensure availability of sufficient foodgrain in all States by proper planning.
Other Initiative in Movement of foodgrains
To supplement the movement through rail, an alternate mode is being explored by undertaking coastal movement to Kerala from Andhra Pradesh. During year 2014-15, around one lakh MT of rice has been moved from Andhra Pradesh to Kerala for the first time through this mode.
In North East, railways is undertaking gauge conversion from Metre gauge to Broad gauge due to which rail movement has been stopped to Tripura as well as some other states of NE and stock is moved to Tripura by road from Board gauge railheads in Assam. To supplement this road movement to Tripura, an alternate route using multimodal mode (riverine route) via Bangladesh has also been explored. Around 20,000 MT has been moved so far from Kolkata/Andhra Pradesh via Bangladesh to Tripura.