The government has decided to use open spaces in schools and colleges as temporary godowns for two or three days during rabi procurement to enable purchase centres to store the purchased paddy before shifting the stock to rice-mills.

Tarpaulins covers will be provided to protect the paddy stored from rain and sun and the stocks cleared when the schools and colleges reopen in June first week for the new academic year.

The godown space crunch at the rice-mills is expected to end once the FCI begins to purchase rice from them this month as under the levy policy with the aim of procuring 40 lakh tonnes up to September. Giving these details to reporters here on Wednesday, Civil Supplies Minister D. Sridhar Babu announced that senior IAS officers had been appointed to each of the 10 districts to oversee paddy procurement as these areas accounted for a bumper paddy crop and required special attention.

The officers are :M. Subrahmanyam (East Godavari), Poonam Malakondaiah (West Godavari), B. R. Meena (Krishna), Hiralal Samaria (Guntur), M. Anantaramu (Nellore), K. Vijayanand (Nalgonda), Sandeep Kumar Sultania (Karimnagar), V. Usharani (Khammam), P. Sivashankar (Warangal) and L. Premachandra Reddy (Nizamabad).

He said K. R. Ratnakishore, another senior officer, would coordinate the procurement operations at state level with FCI, the officials of the districts, Civil supplies and Agriculture departments and the railways.

Open spaces in schools and colleges to be temporary godowns during rabi procurement