Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 29
The Adani Group officials today met Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and showed keen interest to construct state-of-the-art silos at several locations in the state.
Punjab, which produces on an average 220 to 250 LMT of foodgrain a year, has a covered storage capacity of just 150 lakh MT. Around 111 LMT of foodgrain is stored in the open and plinth (raised platform in the open) storage. Thus, there is a need to create more state-of-the-art temperature-controlled storages for grains, and this is where big groups like Adani stand a fair chance of investing in Punjab.
Sources in the government told The Tribune that a three-member delegation of the Adani Group met Chief Minister Badal along with Deputy Chief Minister, Food and Supply Minister and Agriculture Minister this evening. The company officials made a presentation, explaining how they had constructed these silos in Madhya Pradesh and also in Moga in Punjab, besides explaining the storage and handling facilities in these silos. They reportedly told the state government functionaries that they had the wherewithal to construct silos with huge capacities and were looking forward to invest in creating some silos in Punjab as well.
Adani Agri Logistics had earlier constructed silo storage in Moga and in Kaithal in Haryana, each having a storage capacity of 2 LMT. These were built on a build-own-operate basis and FCI had given a 20-year guarantee for the usage of these storage facilities, with the company getting paid by the FCI for storing the wheat. The main depot at Moga is linked to three field depots in Chennai, Coimbatore and Bangalore, the one at Kaithal is linked to Navi Mumbai and Hooghly, and wheat stored in these depots is transferred to field depots for onward distribution. The success of the silo at Moga has now propelled the company to invest in more grain silos in the state.
Punjab, too, has been inviting investments in creating grain silos. Besides the one at Moga, Punjab has another grain silo in Amritsar, with a capacity to store 50,000 LMT of grain. Sources say they have asked the Adani team to make a proposal and submit it to the state government for further action.
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