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 for NFSA/ TPDS and Other Schemes
- 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/ Telengana, 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 NFSA/ TPDS and other schemes as well as to create buffer stocks.
On an average 42 to 45 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 2297 FCI owned & hired depots/Slios, 550 plus rail-heads (owned by Indian Railways and others) and 97 FCI own sidings.
Movement Plan is prepared on monthly basis keeping in view:
- Quantity available in surplus regions
- Quantity required by deficit regions
- Likely procurement
- Vacant storage capacity both in consuming as well as procuring regions
- Monthly allotment/ off take of foodgrains
Mode of Transportation
Movement of foodgrains is undertaken by Rail, Road and Waterways. Around 80% of stocks are moved by rail to different parts of the country. 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 to Kerala.
FCI has 99 own Rail 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.
Other Initiative in Movement of Foodgrains
Coastal & Riverine Movement:
FCI, as a pro-active measure has also explored the movement of food grains through multimodal costal/ riverine mode so as to supplement rail/road movement. FCI is already moving foodgrains to Andaman & Lakshadweep using coastal mode but the same is in meagre quantity. From 2013-14 to 2020-21, 3.02 LMT foodgrains have been moved through multimodal costal/ riverine mode to Kerala/ Agartala (Tripura).
FCI has initiated containerized movement of foodgrains on certain routes through CONCOR/ Associates wherein it is found to be economical in comparison to conventional Railway rakes. From, 2016-17 to 2020-21, 919 such container rakes have been moved with approx. freight savings of Rs. 26.83 crores.
FCI is effectively optimizing movement in association with Railways, while minimizing cost. Demurrage and Wharfage were brought down from Rs. 195.73 Cr in 2012-13 to Rs. 46.17 Cr in 2020-21. No. of Rebooking(s)/ Diversion(s) have been reduced from 904 rakes (Rs 77.97 Cr) in 2012-13 to 7 rakes in 2020-21 (Rs 0.32 Cr). The Demurrage per MT has been reduced from Rs. 25.10/ MT in 2012-13 to Rs. 4.66/MT in 2020-21.
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.