Bhubaneswar, Oct 30:
After facing flak from various quarters for its failure to construct enough godowns to store procured paddy leading to their damage in rainy days, the state government has finally inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to construct 544 rural godowns at an investment of Rs 168 crore to create additional capacity for storage of paddy.
The MoU for construction of rural godowns was signed between Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS), Odisha State Agriculture Marketing Board (OSAMB) and NABARD Consultancy Services Private Limited (NABCONS). The godowns to be constructed under the agreement will be owned by 544 Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) and Large Adivasi Multi-purpose Co-operative Societies (LMPCS) of the state.
Cooperation Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha and department secretary Bishnupada Sethi were present on the occasion of MoU signing ceremony.
“The warehouses will be utilised to store paddy purchased from farmers at PACS and LMPCS level. An amount of Rs 83 crores has been earmarked in the state budget in the 2013-14 financial year for the construction of these godowns. Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) will provide further financial assistance,” said the minister.
RCS will identify sites for construction of the godowns and make available encumbrance-free land with approach roads well in advance and hand over the sites to the OSAMB, the executing agency. Besides ensuring release of funds to the agency, it will bear the operational responsibility for the execution of the project.
NABCONS, which will provide project management consultancy services, will ensure architectural planning and designing of godowns and on-site monitoring of the works.
The project management consultancy work for the godowns would be taken up in four phases. 124 godowns would be taken up for construction in the first phase, said sources.
NABCONS has already prepared 124 DPRs for construction of these 124 godowns, which have been approved by the government. The second, third and fourth phases will be taken up subsequently. All the phases will be taken up for implementation within a period of 24 months, sources added.
The constructions of these 544 rural godowns will be finished in 2014-15 and the total expenditure will be Rs 168 crores. These godowns will have a total capacity of storing 3.36 lakh metric tonnes of paddy, which would prove to be of immense benefit to the farmers.