Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar flagged off the inaugural run of ‘Devlali-Danapur Kisan Rail’ today through Video Conference in the presence of Union Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal who presided over the function. Union Minister of Finance Smt Nirmala Sitharaman had made an announcement in the Union Budget 2020-21 to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of milk, meat and fish and it was also stated that the Indian Railways will set up a Kisan Rail through PPP arrangements.
Speaking on the occasion, Narendra Singh Tomar said that Kisan Rail will help transport the produce of farmers to different parts of the country at a nominal cost, thus the farmer will benefit, this will help in achieving the vision of the Prime Minister of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022. Tomar thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi about his vision of strengthening the transportation network across the country with a special emphasis on the transportation of perishable goods in a time bound manner. He said that due to non-availability of transportation, the farmers are not getting remunerative price for their farm produce and appreciated the efforts of Ministry of Railways to start Kisan Rail in the wake of the difficult Covid pandemic situation. Addressing the gathering through video conference, the Agriculture Minister stated that the government is committed towards the welfare of farmers by building a seamless national cold supply chain for perishable products in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry sector. Mentioning that basic needs of farmers are being fulfilled by Kisan Rail, he expressed happiness that farmers activities have not been affected even during the Covid lockdown and all the activities related to harvesting of Rabi Crops and sowing of summer and Kharif Crops have progressed in a satisfactory manner.
Piyush Goyal mentioned that the first rail was run in 1853 from Bori Bundar to Thane and now first Kisan Rail is being run in 2020 by Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Government has launched PM KISAN scheme in which Rs. 6000/- are being given to farmers’ families and other many schemes/ programmes in order to double the farmers’ income. Ministry of Railways is also working for increasing food chain supply so that farmers could get higher prices for their crops.
The flagging off ceremony was held in the presence of Suresh Angadi, Union Minister of State for Railways, Raosaheb Danve, Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Purshottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary, Union Ministers of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Devendra Fadnavis, Leader of Opposition, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Chhagan Bhujbal, Minister of Food, Civil Supply and Consumer Protection, Govt. of Maharashtra. The Secretary (AC&FW), Member Traffic (Ministry of Railways), and other officers of Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Ministry of Railways were present during the event.
In order to serve the purpose of the farming community of the country, Kisan Rail shall be trains with multi commodities, multi-consignors and multi consignees. These trains shall run between fixed Origin–Destination pairs with en-route stoppages, and loading/ unloading shall be permitted at any of the en-route stoppage. The Origin–Destination pairs, routes, stoppages, and frequency of the train shall be decided jointly by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and Ministry of Railways. Indian Railways will plan to run the trains accordingly.
The first-mile arrangements including aggregation of consignments through FPOs, warehousing, setting-up of temperature-controlled storages, etc. shall be coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare. MoA&FW will also promote startups in agri-infrastructure, promotion of new FPOs and strengthening of existing FPOs for backward integration. The Ministry will provide details of Production Centres on the Kisan Special Routes along with seasonality of produce. MoA&FW shall also ensure that information regarding Kisan Rail is duly disseminated among all the stake-holders, such as mandis, farmers’ co-operatives, NGOs, etc. Action required for ensuring that adequate back-end infrastructure is available shall also be ensured by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare.