"Our rail line from Lumding to Badarpur in Assam is closed in view of gauge conversion. It would be completed next year only. So, we urged the central government for ferrying the granules by using the Ashuganj port. FCI informed us that transportation would be started after March 22," Tripura Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bhanulal Saha told reporters.
Train services in Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram and Cachhar and Karimganj districts of Assam were closed since last October for conversion of railway tracks from narrow gauge to broad gauge, which is likely to be operational in March 2016.
Saha said, it was necessary to create a buffer stock of food grain in the state before the monsoon sets in June.
The Ashuganj port on the river Meghna in Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh is about 50 km from here.
The minister said rice would be uploaded from Kolkata port and would be unloaded in the Ashuganj port from where it would be carried to Agartala by using the Bangladeshi trucks.
The distance between Agartala and Kolkata is reduced to 650 km from 1,700 km if not traveled through 'chicken neck area' or Siliguri Corridor.