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New Delhi : As per the announcement made in the Union Budget 2020-21, Indian Railways has started running Kisan Rail train services to transport perishables and agri-product including milk, meat and fish.

This is multi-commodity, multi-consignor/consignee, multi-loading/unloading transportation product aimed at providing wider market to the farmers. The primary objective of running Kisan Rail trains is to increase the income in farm sector by connecting production centers to markets and consumption centers.

Railways have been actively pursuing with various stakeholders including Ministry of Agriculture, state governments, and local bodies, to plan rollout of Kisan Rail services. Based on demand pattern and feedback received from stakeholders, Railways have so far operated Kisan Rail services on eighteen routes. The first Kisan Rail train was flagged-off on August 7, 2020, between Devlali (Maharashtra) and Danapur (Bihar).

These Kisan Rail trains are run on time-tabled paths and their punctuality is strictly monitored to avoid any en-route detentions and delays. These services have been introduced on 18 (eighteen) routes so far. Till January 22, 2021, a total of 157 services of Kisan Rail have been run transporting more than 49,000 Tonnes of consignments. Utilisation of these services is being monitored on a regular basis to ensure optimal utilisation of Railway stock (Parcel Vans).

Primary commodities being transported via Kisan Rail are onion, tomato, oranges, potato, pomegranate, banana, custard-apple, carrots, capsicum, and other vegetables.

Commodities booked via Kisan Rail trains are charged at ‘P’-scale of parcel tariff. Under ‘Operation Greens – TOP to Total’ scheme of Ministry of Food Processing Industries a subsidy of 50% is being granted on the transportation of fruits and vegetables via Kisan Rail. This subsidy is being granted upfront at the time of booking itself, to the consignors/farmers – so that the benefit reaches the farmers without any hassles or procedural delays, according to a PIB release

A Detailed Project Report for running Kisan Rail trains is also under preparation through M/s RITES, which will assess important aspects of the project for efficiency and economies of scales.