In a step towards doubling the income of farmers by 2022, the newly-introduced Kisan Rail, chugged off from Anantapur Railway Station on Wednesday (9 September) carrying 322 tonnes of fruits and vegetables to Adarsh Nagar in Delhi.
It was virtually flagged off by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Minister of State for Railways Suresh C Angadi.
The train provides fast connectivity between Anantapur to New Delhi with the distance of 2,150 kilometres being covered in approximately 40 hours.
The rake is loaded with 14 parcel vans – four vans load meant for Nagpur and another 10 vans load for Adarsh Nagar – totalling 332 tonnes.
The inaugural Kisan Rail is transporting tomato, banana, sweet orange, papaya, muskmelon and mango.
Tomar said it is the first Kisan Rail from south India connecting the national capital for the benefit of the farmers. “It was the guidance and inspiration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Indian Railways have started Kisan Rail with a motive to encourage the farmers.”
Anantapur is fast becoming the fruit bowl of Andhra Pradesh. More than 80 per cent of the 58 lakh million tonne of fruits and vegetables in the district is marketed out of the state, particularly to the north Indian states of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana among others.
Earlier, this was being transported by road, which was not only time-consuming but also leading to reduction in price realisation for the farmers due to en route damage.
The railway provides a safe, reliable and fast transportation which will aid in better price realisation for the farmers and thereby helping in better incomes.
Describing the occasion as a “great day for farmers”, Tomar said “agriculture produce needs best possible distribution and returns. Indian farmers have proved that they would never be deterred by any calamity or challenge. Kisan Rail will ensure that agri products reach from one corner to another corner of the country.”
Kisan Rail was announced in the budget.
Angadi, who was presiding over the programme, said that Prime Minister’s vision and the announcement made in the budget materialised in the introduction of Kisan Rail with the aim of doubling the income of farmers.
As lifeline of the nation, Indian Railways is committed to the facilitation of marketing the farmer’s produce, Angadi said and added that electrification of railway lines has been taken up in a big way in Andhra Pradesh and its benefits will be enjoyed by the people of the state.
Currently the freight charges were Rs 5,136 per tonne and a single train can take from a minimum of 150 million tonnes (MT) to 460 MT depending on the demand.
Earlier, the first Kisan Rail train was run from Deolali in Maharashtra to Danapur in Bihar.