The national transporter launched Kisan Rail services last month and so far, these trains carried around 4,100 tonnes of goods from farmers to markets across India.
Indian Railways is considering linking Kisan Trains with seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Indian Railways Kisan Special trains: In a bid to benefit small farmers, Indian Railways is considering linking Kisan Trains with seasonal fruits and vegetables. According to officials quoted in a PTI report, first off the mark could be an Orange Special Kisan Train between Nagpur and Delhi and a Keenu Special Kisan Train from the state of Punjab to West Bengal and Odisha during the months of December and January. The details are still being finalized, said the officials who further added that they have received feedback from various zones of Indian Railways about the viability of running dedicated train services linking them with seasonal produce. The national transporter launched Kisan Rail services last month and so far, these trains carried around 4,100 tonnes of goods from farmers to markets across India.
According to a senior official, Indian Railways wants to ensure that small scale farmers who are unable to book the entire train are benefitted with Kisan Rail. The farmers can still avail these services by booking as little as they want. At present, the three Kisan Rail trains that are in operation are between Devlali-Danapur, Yashwantpur-Nizamuddin and Anantpur-Delhi. These trains are running on 85% capacity.
Apart from Orange Special and Keenu Special, on the anvil, Mango Special (Andhra Pradesh to Delhi between the months of April and June), Banana Special (Jalgaon to Delhi, during March and December); Onion Special (Nashik to Delhi, during the months of March and December) and Chiku Special (Surat, Valsad, Navsari to Delhi between April-November) are also there.
According to officials, the farther the goods or supplies are sent, the cheaper the ferrying cost is. Within 0-500 km distance, Indian Railways services are expensive. But the services of the national transporter are at par with the roadways for more than 1,000 km distance, they said. For over 2,000 km distance, Indian Railways services are cheaper than the roadways by at least Rs 1,000 per tonne, they added. These Kisan Rail train services will be part of the Indian Railways zero-based time table, which will soon be in effect soon. Thus, even if regular train services begin post-COVID-19 pandemic, these train services will have dedicated routes and paths to run on.