"I have spoken to the Cabinet Secretary on Thursday for dispatching one lakh metric tonnes of rice via Ashuganj port because of the conversion of railway tracks and resultant block along the Lumding-Agartala stretch for six months from October 1," Chief Secretary GK Rao said.

The conversion of tracks would be from meter gauge to broad gauge.

The government's optimism to explore the Andhra-Bangladesh-Tripura route stemmed from the successful reaching of the FCI consignment to Agartala since Friday in Bangladeshi trucks after being shipped through Ashuganj river port in the neighbouring country.

FCI had sent 5,000 tonnes of food grain from Kakinada port in Andhra Pradesh to Kolkata port, from where it was shipped to Ashuganj port, 37 km here, and finally the consignment started reaching here saving a lot of time and money.

On Thursday, the state received 51 tonnes of foodgrain out of the total 5,000 tonnes. Three trucks from Bangladesh, laden with 17 tonnes in each, reached Agartala on the day, Superintendent of state Food and Civil Supplies, Dibyendu Chakraborty said.

These trucks reached Nandannagar food godown of the state government directly from Ashugaj with police escorts.

Rao said, due to the impending rail line obstruction due to the conversion of tracks, transportation of foodgrains would be hit in Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and southern Assam if alterntives were not chalked out, and the cabinet secretary held video-conferencing with the chief secretaries of the affected states to discuss the issue on Thursday.

"I have stressed that a buffer stock of food grains should be created now so that supply of the food is not hampered," he said.

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