With shortage of urea causing distress among Telangana farmers, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday directed authorities to deploy special trains and trucks to make one lakh tonne of urea available in the next three to four days. As many as 25 special goods trains and 3,000 trucks will be operated to transport urea from Andhra Pradesh's ports to various places across Telangana.
The chief minister at a meeting with ministers and top officials reviewed the situation created by urea shortage. It came a day after a farmer died in a queue while waiting for urea in Siddipet district and protests by farmers in various parts of the state over fertilizer shortage.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government came under sharp criticism from the opposition for failing to provide adequate quantity of urea.
The officials informed the chief minister that 1. 15 lakh tonnes of urea from IDL, IFFCO, KRIBHCO, NFL reached the ports of Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Gangavaram, Krishnapatnam and New Mangalore.
KCR spoke to South Central Railway officials, who agreed to arrange 25 special goods trains to immediately transport urea stock from the ports to various districts in the state.
One agriculture officer will be deputed to each port to ensure that urea is loaded quickly on the goods trains. In addition to the good trains, 3,000 trucks will be used to transport urea.The CM also spoke to Andhra Pradesh Transport Minister Perni Nani, who assured that required number of trucks would be arranged.
He asked officials to estimate the quantity of urea required in each 'mandal' and ensure that one lakh tonne urea is available in the next three to four days.
On the reasons for unprecedented demand for urea, the officials informed Rao that the central government decided to supply fertilisers to farmers under Direct benefit Transfer method. Due to this, traders and private companies have not procured fertilisers in large quantities.
Keeping in view the increase demand for urea this year, the agriculture department placed orders with several private companies. Since urea is transported by ships, some delay took place, the officials said.