New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) The ambitious Kisan Rail project of the railways found a mention in President Ram Nath Kovind's address in Parliament on Friday, indicating its significance for the government as a service for the agriculture sector.
Announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Budget 2020, the service was set up through the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode for a cold supply chain to transport perishable goods.
'The Kisan Rail, started throughout the country, is helping to chart a new course by increasing the access of Indian farmers to new markets. This rail is like a mobile cold storage. So far, over 100 kisan trains have been started, which have enabled the farmers to transport over 38,000 tonnes of foodgrains, fruits and vegetables from one region to the other,' the president said.
The first such train service was launched in August last year between Devlali in Maharashtra and Danapur in Bihar.
The railways aims to help double the farmers' income with the launch of Kisan Rail. These trains will help transport perishable agricultural products such as vegetables and fruits to the market in a short period of time. The trains with frozen containers are expected to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, including fish, meat and milk.
Farmers or any other interested party can directly book their consignments on these trains without any lower limit on their size.
'The consignment can be as small as 50-100 kg and can be booked from any stopping station to any other stopping station, giving full flexibility (to farmers),' an official said.
Officials also said in case there is any loss or damage to any product for some reason, the railways will follow its usual compensation system.
The latest Kisan Rail service was launched between West Bengal and Nagaland on Friday.
'Taking another step towards realising the resolve of doubling farmers' income, Kisan Rail is being started from Tarkeshwar, West Bengal to Dimapur, Nagaland from today.
'This train will play an important role in the development of agriculture and farmers in the Northeast,' Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said in tweets. PTI ASG RC