No DAP shortage in Punjab: Govt

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Chandigarh, Jun 7 (UNI) The Punjab government today clarified that there was no shortage of DAP in the state and the government had made adequate arrangements for the supply of fertiliser to Punjab farmers during the ensuing paddy season.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had camped in New Delhi for three days last month to get an assurance on the subject at the level of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and as per the Centre's commitments, Punjab was very comfortably placed in the supply of this critical input, the CM's Media Advisor Harcharan Bains told newsmen here today.

Mr Bains categorically dismissed any apprehensions about shortage of the fertiliser both for paddy and cotton operations in the state.

Giving details of the present status of the DAP availability and future supplies, Mr Bains said that said that the Chief Minister had sought a supply of 77,000 tonness of DAP for the current season and said that the Centre had promised a timely supply of the same to the state.

Of this, three rakes of 2500 MT each had already arrived for Ludhiana, Muktsar and Jalandhar while three others of the same quantity were on the way from Mundra for the districts of Nawanshehar, Bathinda and Batala.

The total requirement for the month of June is 30,000 MTs. The Centre had already directed the Ministry of Railways to ensure timely dispatch of the total supply.

Mr Bains said that the Railway Minister Lalu Prasad had assured Mr Badal during their meeting in New Delhi last week that the movement of DAP to Punjab would be the first priority of his ministry as it concerned the critical issue of food security for the whole country.

''If necessary, we would not hesitate to reschedule trains to ensure that the fertilizer supplies reached the Punjab farmers well ahead of time,'' Mr Lalu Yadav had told Mr Badal.

All the major suppliers of the DAP, namely IPL, IFFCO, GSFC and the Tatas had been assured that there would be no bottlenecks in evacuating the fertiliser from their plants to Punjab, Mr. Bains added.

UNI JN RL HT1725

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