Kisan Rail on track: Big news for farmers! Soon, transporting and bringing perishable agricultural products such as fruits, vegetables to the market will be more convenient and easy! Recently, the Modi government has established a committee to work out modalities of Kisan Rail. The committee comprises of representatives of Agriculture and Railway ministries. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed Kisan Rail last month while presenting the Union Budget in the parliament for the financial year 2020-21. It is being said that Kisan Rail is likely to contribute to Modi government’s plan of doubling the income of farmers by 2022.
According to the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, the Kisan Rail with frozen containers will help in bringing perishable agricultural items such as vegetables, fruits to the market in a short duration of time. Recently, Goyal had asked ICAR scientists to develop solutions that can reduce the cost of farming as well as give farmers good prices for crops. It is expected that the Kisan Rail train with frozen containers will build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of fish, milk, and meat. The Kisan Rail will be launched through public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements. Some major initiatives taken for transportation of perishable items are as follows:
- To transport perishable parcel traffic, newly designed Refrigerated Parcel Vans were procured through RCF, Kapurthala.
- For the movement of fruits and vegetables to different parts of the country, a total of 98 Ventilated Insulated Containers have been procured, through CONCOR.
- At New Azadpur in Adarsh Nagar, Delhi, Ghazipur Ghat and UP’s Raja ka Talab, temperature-controlled perishable cargo centres have been commissioned. This has been done as a pilot project under the Kisan Vision Project by CONCOR, a CSR initiative.
- The Railway Ministry stated that a similar project is also being developed at Lasalgaon, Nasik. Also, approval has been granted to CRWC to develop temperature controlled storages at Mancheswar and Fatuha.
- A cold storage facility has been set up at Dadri as well. Also at Rai in Sonepat, Fresh & Healthy Enterprise Limited has been redeveloped as Agriculture Logistic Center.