While addressing the 91st Annual General Meeting of the ICAR Society, the Railway Minister had asked agricultural scientists to develop solutions that can reduce the cost of farming as well as give farmers good prices for crops.
Indian Railways plans ‘Kisan Rail’ for farmers! Piyush Goyal-chaired Railway Ministry aims to contribute to the Modi government’s aim of doubling the income of farmers by 2022. According to the Railway Minister, the Kisan Rail will help in bringing perishable agricultural products like vegetables, fruits to the market in a short period of time. While addressing the 91st Annual General Meeting of the ICAR Society, the Railway Minister had asked agricultural scientists to develop solutions that can reduce the cost of farming as well as give farmers good prices for crops. The Kisan Rail was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget for the financial year 2020-21.
The Kisan Rail train with frozen containers is expected to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of fish, meat and milk. According to a press release issued by the Railway Ministry last month, Indian Railways will set up the Kisan Rail through public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements. The Railway Ministry also stated that there will be refrigerated coaches in Express and Freight trains as well. Here are some major initiatives which have already been taken for transportation of perishable items:
- IRCTC special trains: Passengers note new ticket booking, RAC, waitlisting rules for 15 pairs of AC specials
- Relief for passengers! Indian Railways may start more IRCTC special trains in coming days based on demand
- IRCTC special trains: Indian Railways cracks down on touts to ensure tickets availability for common man
- Refrigerated Parcel Vans: For transportation of highly perishable parcel traffic, new design of Refrigerated Parcel Vans was developed. The Refrigerated Parcel Vans were procured through Indian Railways’ Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala. At present, the national transporter has a fleet of nine Refrigerated Parcel Vans available, which can be booked on a round-trip basis. They are charged at 1.5 times the freight of normal VP as per the train’s category.
- Reefer (Ventilated Insulated) Rail Containers: For the movement of vegetables and fruits to different parts of the country, as many as 98 Ventilated Insulated Containers have been procured, through CONCOR. Each container has a carrying capacity of 12 Tonnes and the rake composition is of 80 containers.
- Cold Storage Facilities for Perishables: Under Kisan Vision Project by CONCOR under CSR initiative, ‘Temperature controlled perishable cargo centres’ have been commissioned as a pilot project at New Azadpur in Adarsh Nagar, Delhi, Ghazipur Ghat and Raja ka Talab in Uttar Pradesh. Another similar project is under development at Lasalgaon, Nasik in Maharashtra. Also, to develop temperature controlled storages at Mancheswar and Fatuha, approval has been granted to Central Railside Warehousing Corporation (CRWC).
- A facility of cold storage has been developed at Dadri as well. Moreover, Fresh and Healthy Enterprise Limited has been redeveloped as Agriculture Logistic Center at Rai in Sonepat. This facility is 100 per cent subsidiary of CONCOR, developed in an area of 16.40 acres of land.