Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday to open the gunny bag manufacturing units in West Bengal that were shut in view of the ongoing lockdown and ensure the transportation of gunny bags through special goods trains to the southern state.
Rao, who spoke to Modi about the matter in the evening, informed the latter that there was a severe scarcity of gunny bags in Telangana and the state needed 20 crore gunny bags to procure paddy.
"Manufacturing units of gunny bags are located in West Bengal. Every year gunny bags are sourced from West Bengal. Due to the lockdown and closure of the units in West Bengal, there is a scarcity of gunny bags in Telangana," Rao said, according to an official release issued late on Sunday night.
Rao requested Modi to open the gunny bag manufacturing units in West Bengal. The prime minister responded positively to his request and said he would talk to the departments concerned, the release said.
Rao, who held a high-level review meeting on harvesting in the state and procurement of paddy, also instructed the officials concerned to take measures to ensure that there was no problem for harvesting crops or in the procurement of paddy.
"The entire public life has come to a standstill due to the lockdown. Yet the government has decided to procure paddy from farmers so that farmers do not face any difficulty or financial losses. To stop crowding at the markets, the government has decided to procure paddy at villages and procurement centres," Rao said.
Harvesting and procurement of paddy should be done at the fullest level, he said and directed officials to create awareness among farmers that they should reach the centres at the specified date and time, which is mentioned in their coupons. Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and others participated in the meeting.
In another official release, Rao congratulated the electricity department for ensuring that there was no problem even after lights were switched off at 9 pm all over the state in solidarity with the fight against the coronavirus.
"Due to the perfect planning of the electricity department, no problem arose. Due to sudden switching off lights at one go (during the nine-minute period), the demand dropped by about 1,500 MW," the chief minister said.