Mamata Banerjee lays foundation stone for perishable cargo centre at Singur

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Singur (West Bengal), Nov 29(ANI): Union Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday laid the foundation for Perishable Cargo Centre (PCC) at Singur in West Bengal.

Earlier, in the Railway Budget 2009-10 speech, Mamata had announced that Railways would encourage creation of facilities of cold storage and temperature controlled perishable cargo centers. Accordingly, it was decided to build a perishable cargo, which will be first such rail-linked facility in the country.

The perishable cargo centre at Singur will be built at an estimated cost of Rs. 3 crore and the centre will provide transit storage to perishable commodities with a capacity of storing 1500 metric tonnes.

When made functional, this will usher in a new dimension in the socio-economic upliftment of the people, especially farmers of the area.

Shortage of cold storage facilities and refrigerated transport lead to inefficiency in handling perishable agriculture produces, which manifest itself into wastages. This post harvest wastage is estimated at 25 percent to 30 percent of the total produce.

West Bengal is one of the largest producers of vegetables and fruits and it is also the second largest producer of potato in the country. Hooghly district is the main potato-growing district with the Singur block being one of the biggest in terms of potato production.

Although the large number of cold storages in and around Singur, form an essential component in the supply-chain logistics of this essential commodity, there is practically very little or no other perishable cargo being dealt with at present in the cold storages that serve the catchment areas of this agriculturally rich region.

There is a good potential for harnessing cold storage of a whole lot of vegetables like cabbage, beans and also fruits like Himsagar mango and guavas.

The proposed PCC will also be targeting storage of inward perishable fruits and will be the first rail-linked perishable cargo complex in West Bengal. (ANI)

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