India gifts 10 modern rice silos to Myanmar

Yangon: Extending a helping hand to the cyclone prone country, India on Tuesday dedicated 10 modern and disaster-proof rice silos here in Myanmar to ensure that no one goes hungry during natural calamities.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, on a three day visit to the country, inaugurated the silos, having a combined capacity of 5,000 tonne storage build with the assistance of India.

India had given USD 2 million for the construction of these silos, whose need was felt after the devastating May 2008 Cyclone Nargis.

"One of the lessons learnt from this catastrophe (cyclone) was the need to have strong and weather-proof rice warehouses located at strategic positions in the cyclone prone area to enable speedy distribution of food grains to the people in times of need," Krishna said while inaugurating three silos here in the presence of Myanmarese Commerce Minister Win Myint.

The silos are capable of withstanding wind speeds of 150 km per hour and are earthquake resistant up to eight on the Richter scale. For flood prevention, the silos are built on plinths two metres from the ground.

"It is a matter of pride and satisfaction to me that India has been associated with such a worthwhile project, which will directly benefit the friendly people of Myanmar," Krishna said.

Of the 10 silos constructed in a year ending February, four are in Yangon region while seven are in Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) region.

Official sources said the construction of the silos are part of India`s efforts to forger deeper and stronger relations with the country, seen as strategically important.

Win Myint expressed Myanmar`s `gratitude for the generosity`.

He also said that the two countries were existing with a sense of `peace, co-existence and cooperation`, and this extended to the areas of education and economic development.