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Introduction

Prior to 1995, supply of food stuff and other essential requirements of civilian staff and the local people of the erstwhile NEEA (North Frontier Agency) were mainly met  by the contractors, the Administration being only responsible for arranging air-dropping and air landing of supplies at the respective locations. This system was replaced in December, 1995 “ State Trading Scheme” popularly known as CPO (Central Purchase Organisation). To implement this Scheme, a “ Directorate of Supply and Transport” was set  up at Rowriah, Assam. This was shifted to Naharlagun during October, 1997.

At present, the Directorate has its Central Storage Depot at Rowriah, two Base Depots at Mohanbari and Lilabari, three Forward Focal Points (FFP) at  Pasighat, Along and Ziro and 27 smaller depots commonly known as CPO centres scattered throughout the state in the interior and remote Administrative centres.

The main objectives of the Directorate is to supply  essential ration commodities (ERL) to the Govt. servants and their dependents, ALCs, Engineering Labourers, hostel boarders, patients etc. through the CPO centres in the remote Administrative centres inaccessible by road. For this, at present dropping & landing ration sorties are being operated from 5 bases viz Rowriah & Mohanbari by AN-32 aircrafts of IAF, Ex-Pasighat & Along by MI-17 helicopter of IAF and Ex-Ziro by MI-8 helicopter of IAF. Lilibari Depot is used as transit Depot for despatch of stores to the three FFPs at Pasighat, Along & Ziro.

In addition, to cater to the need of essential supplies through ration sorties, the Directorate also arranges courier sorties to various locations for carrying postal daks, pay & pay escorts and passengers are also occasionally operated for movement of VIPs evacuation of patients and also during natural calamities as relief sorties.

Other Important Features / Achievements

While in the locations connected by road Govt. servants as well as local people are dprovided with ration & other essential supplies through FPs (Fair Price Shopes) under PDS (Public Distribution System) controlled by DCS (Directorate of Civil Supplies), the local people of air fed CPO locations had been deprived of the essential supplies since the CPO Scheme is confined among Govt. servants ( & t heir dependents), ALCs, Engineering labourers, hostel boarders and patients etc. But, the local people living in CPO locations along  thed border and remote areas are more vulnerable due to poor status of cultivation and therefore deserve to cover under PDs. And, it is, under this purview that the local people of CPO locations were brought under supplies scheme by introducing a new scheme namely  RPDS ( Revamped Public Districution System) wish the aid of ACA (Additional Central Assistance) under BMS (Basic Minimum Services) w.e.f. November, 1996. Similarly, the TPDS (Targetted  Public Distribution Scheme) introduced by Govt. of India w.e.f. 1st June, 1997, as an important  constituent  of the strategy for poverty eradication by issuing 10 kg rice per month to each BPL (Below Poverty line) family at subsidised rate was also implemented in CPO locations.

These two schemes had been implemented in the CPO locations in parallel with the CPO scheme with the ACA fund till 31-08-2000. These  schemes have, however, been discontinued from September, 2000 as the Central Govt. has stopped providing the ACA for these schemes from the year 2000-2001.

Alternate arrangement of transportation of ERC by land route/head load to CPO centres

The air maintenance task is a very costly affair due to the high rate of airfreight charges of aircrafts / helicopters which increases every year @10 – 20%. The state Govt. has been incurring quite a good amount of its limited resources on the air maintenance task for supply of ERC under CPO scheme.

To reduce such cost, the stat e Govt. took a decision in 1997 to explore possibility  for transportation of ERC to CPO Centres by land route and head load at least during winter/dry season/favourable weather days foreseeing the low-cost involvement in land route/head load transportation than in ration sortie by air craft/helicopter.

Accordingly, the Directorate started the system on experimental basis in few CPO Centres from 1998-1999. On successful implementation of this system through-out the year , some CPO Centres viz: Koyu in East  Siang District and Pumao in Tirap District have been closed and converted to PDS. With a constant  and earnest  effort with the active co-operation of concern District Administration, such system has been implemented in maximum CPO Centres from last  year (2000-2001) and as foreseen, the cost on air maintenance task has been reduced. The following figures of air tonnage achievement and cost on air freight charges explains the position:

 

  1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002
Achievement of air tonnage 7213 MT 6989 MT 6407 MT 3507 MT 2900 MT
Total impact on airfreight charges Rs. 44.00 Croress Rs. 48.00 Crores Rs. 56.00 Crores Rs. 34.00 Crores Rs. 25.00 Crores
Rate of increase in flying hour of  aircraft / helicopter in comparison to previous year. 20% 20% 20% 10% -

 

Note:
1.Air tonnage achievement decreases due to land route / load transportation of ERC in lieu of ration sortie.
2.Total impact on airfreight charges slightly increased in 1998-99 & 2000 due to hike in flying out rate of air crafts/helicopters by 20%

At present, 18 CPO Centres out of total 27 have been covered by land route/head load transportation during dry/favourable period.

Further, I CPO Centres namely Kronli is being closed shortly (ration sortie already suspended).

 

Arrangement of Relief Operations

Arrangement of”relief operation at the time of natural calamities is an important task of DST.

During June’2000 the unprecedented flood originated in Upper Siang District led to land slides & flood in many areas. People were marooned at   many places. The DST had arranged for IAF helicopters for relief operations in Upper Siang, West Siang, East  Siang, Dibang Valley & Lohit  District for evacuation of marooned people and for supply of ration commodities etc. A total of 220 sorties were operated for lifting 3, 352 people and supply of 60.190 MT ration items and medicine.

Post-relief operation: The flood of June, 2000 had damaged many bridges/roads and dislocated road communication to many administrative HQs including Yingkiong, the HQ of Upper Siang district. Since the restoration of road communication by cónstructing bridge was a time taking job, DST had arranged 40 Nos. of sorties with PDS supplies to Yingkiong from Along FFP base as per Govt. approval on requisitaB¨Mof Deputy Commissioner, Upper Siang District, Yingkiong.

Lifting of Passengers / Departmental stores: As a policy of the Govt. limited passengers including public, Govt. servants, patients etc. and departmental stores of various departments are airlifted in ration sorties. The passengers are charged with concessional fare rates fixed by Govt. where as, the departmental stores are lifted on payment of required airfreight charges.

Other Activities

In addition to above, the lifting of Election team / polling materials, polio immunisation team/materials to remote centres etc. are arranged as and when required.

The DST establishment with prime objective for supply of ERC to remote administrative centres(CPO centres) has, however, shrunk from its original size since the number of CPO centres under air maintenance task is being reduced every year due to improvement of land routes. Of course some new CPO centres are also coming up with the opening of new administrative centres in some remote locations inaccessible by road.

 

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