New Delhi, Feb 11: Aiming to incentivise farmers to transport their agricultural produce through Kisan Rail, Indian Railways and Ministry of Food Processing Industries have included mandarin (a variety of orange) and turmeric (raw) in the list of eligible fruits and vegetables for 50 percent transportation subsidy through any type of train service provided by the public transporter under Operation Greens – Top to Total.
Fruits like mango, banana, guava, kiwi, litchi, papaya, mosambi, orange, kinnow, lime, lemon, pineapple, pomegranate, jackfruit, apple, almond, aonla, passion fruit and pear are already under subsidy.
Vegetables including French beans, bitter gourd, brinjal, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, chillies (green), okra, cucumber, peas, garlic, onion, potato and tomato are also eligible items under subsidy.
Kisan Rail ensures agro products reach from one corner to another corner of the country in a quick time by faster transportation benefitting both the farmers and the consumers.
Catering to the requirements of small farmers and small traders, Kisan Rail is proving to be not only a game changer but also a life changer as it fulfils the endeavour of increasing the income of farmers.
“Kisan Rail is surely changing the lives of farmers with the assurance of better price with faster and cheaper transportation, providing seamless supply chain, preventing the destruction of perishable farm produce thereby opening up the scope to increase the income of farmers,” according to the Railways.
It is worth mentioning that Indian Railways is continuously making efforts to move the agro products through freight trains. Even during the lockdown, the freight trains were moving to ensure continuous supply of essential commodities so that no part in the country should face any hardship.
There has been significant improvement in loading of crops like wheat, pulses, fruits, vegetables with more rakes.
In order to provide benefits to parcel customers including farmers and businessmen, Indian Railways have taken a series of measures which include opening of all freight handling terminals for handling of parcel traffic.
Formation of dedicated teams at zonal and divisional levels for dealing with parcel related issues.
Increasing the parcel carrying capacity by permitting attachment of LHB parcel van as 23rd coach and leasing of parcel space in parcel vans attached to Rajdhani/Duronto trains, and allowing booking of parcels upto 120 days in advance.
Providing incentives to parcel traffic by reducing security deposit in case of leased parcel space from 10 percent to 5 percent of the annual contractual value, discount upto 30 percent on brake-vans and indented parcel vans/Parcel Cargo Express Trains (PCET) in case their utilization is less than 40 percent, 8 percent discount on base freight for parcel special trains indented and loaded with a composition of 24 parcel vans plus brake-van, and discount in advance bulk booking of parcel space.
“Operating Kisan Rail services to enable farmers to move perishables including fruits and vegetables from production or surplus regions to consumption or deficient regions. 50 percent subsidy in freight, which is borne by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, is being granted on transportation of fruits and vegetables through Kisan Rail services,” Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written answer in the Lok Sabha.
So far, 24 rakes of export traffic have been sent to Bangladesh. Besides, Zonal Railways have been advised to explore the avenues available in the export sector and identify potential traffic that can be moved to Ports through Railways.