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Air-Conditioned Kisan Coach in trains to help farmers curb losses – Parshottam Rupala

Union Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala on Saturday said that the Modi government has decided to add “air-conditioned Kisan coach” in every express train to carry perishable fruits and vegetables which will help farmers to sell their produce faster and curb their losses.

“Cold Kisan Rail which aims to help growers to take perishable fruits and vegetables to the markets quickly. There would be air-conditioned Kisan coaches in every express and freight train,” Rupala said speaking at “National Agriculture Technique Conference” held at Daulatpur village of Barabanki.

Over 500 farmers from across India attended the event organised by UP Agriculture Department in collaboration with IFFCO and “High Tech Agriculture Development Centre” , a group set-up by forward farmers in UP.

The Union budget 2020-21 proposes, “To build a seamless national cold -supply-chain for perishables, inclusive of milk, meat and fish with the help of Kisan Rail”.

The budget proposes that Indian Railways will set up a “Kisan Rail”- through Public-private partnership arrangements. There shall be refrigerated coaches in Express and Freight trains as well.

As per the government sources, new Refrigerated Parcel Vans (17 tonnes capacity) for transportation of highly perishable parcel traffic has been developed at the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala. A fleet of nine such Refrigerated Parcel Vans are currently available with the Indian Railways.

These Refrigerated Parcel Vans are booked on round-trip basis and are charged at 1.5 times the freight of normal vans as per the category of train. Besides, 98 Ventilated Insulated Containers (carrying capacity 12 Tonnes per container, rake composition 80 containers) have been procured for movement of fruits and vegetables to different parts of the country.

For seamless transfer, three cold storage containers are also ready, two in Uttar Pradesh (Ghazipur and Varanasi) and one in Delhi (Azadpur) as a pilot project under CSR initiative. Another cold storage project is under construction at Lasalgaon, Nasik (Maharashtra). More such centres are proposed across India, says a railway official.