India’s first Kisan Rail flagged off

India's first Kisan Rail
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The Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Narendra Sing Tomar flagged off India’s first Kisan Rail train service via video conferencing on August 7 2020. The train started its journey from Devlali in Maharashtra to Danapur in Bihar.

Indias first Kisan Rail

Key Points

  • With a view of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 Kisan rail has been flagged off as one of the steps taken by the government in that direction.
  • The Kisan rail is the first ever multi-commodity train service which will carry different agricultural products like vegetables, fruits, milk, meat, fish etc.
  • The train is equipped with frozen containers which would help the goods to be delivered in fresh condition.
  • The Kisan Rail train will cater to the long-term requirement of the farmers and traders for carrying their agricultural products which are of perishable nature to distant places.
  • The freight cost for Kisan Rail train service will be as per Indian Railways’ parcel tariff of normal train.
  • On its journey to Danapur it will halt at several stations like Nashik Road, Khandwa, Jalgaon, Manmad, Bhusaval, Burhanpur, Jabalpur, Itarsi, Manikpur, Buxar, Katni, Prayagraj, Chheoki, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Nagar and Satna.
  • Initially the train will operate on a weekly basis and it is subject to change based on user response.
  • The train will cut the transport time by 15 hours and cost farmers Rs 1,000 per tonne less than ferrying their produce by road.

Background

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The proposal to use refrigerated parcel vans to carry perishable goods to distant places was first put forwarded by the then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in the Budget session 2009-10. However it failed to take off due to some reasons.

Central Railway , Bhusawal Division is primarily an agro-based division and Nasik and its surrounding areas produces huge quantities of vegetables, fruits, milk, fish etc which are transported to areas around Patna, Allahabad, Katni, Satna among others.

As Government of India has been taking several steps to double the farmers’ income by 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced about the Kisan rail initiative in her budget speech(2020-21) envisaging to set up the Kissan rail train service through public-private parnership(PPP) mode for a cold supply chain to transport perishable goods.

Thus the announcement has been fulfilled on August 7 2020 and it is believed that the train will patronise well and will provide help to the farmers struggling to sell their produce at distant places even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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