The Government has set up a committee to work out modalities of Kisan Rail. It comprises of representatives of Agriculture and Railway ministries.
Giving this information in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha last week, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, the committee will also look into cold supply chain for perishables by starting the express and freight trains with refrigerated coaches.
Temperature-controlled perishable cargo centre being set up at Lasalgaon
The biggest onion market in Asia, Lasalgaon, will soon get temperature-controlled perishable cargo centre. The centre is being developed under Central government’s scheme of the national cold supply chain for perishables.
In the recent Budget session, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to set up a ‘Kisan Rail’ through the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode for a cold supply chain to transport perishable goods. The cargo centre at Lasalgaon is being developed under the same pattern of (PPP).
The project is being developed by Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR) through a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiative. Another project is commissioned at Ghazipur Ghat (UP), New Azadpur (Delhi) and Raja ka Talab (UP).
An official from Central Railway said that the cargo centre is being developed as a pilot project under the ‘Kisan Vision.’
The Railways already has nine refrigerated vans available on its network for transportation of perishable goods with a carrying capacity of 17 tonne, each for transportation of highly-perishable parcel traffic developed and procured through the Rail Coach Factory.
Lasalgaon, as well as Nashik, have a large number of exporters especially for onions and grapes. The cargo centre will facilitate transport of such perishable goods among others like milk products, meat and fishery products.
The official added that 98 reefer rail containers with a carrying capacity of 12 tonne per container were procured through CONCOR for movement of fruits and vegetables to different parts of the country. The cargo centres and the rail containers will be supplementary to each other and will help to increase exports and commerce in the region.
Under the scheme, the Central government is developing infrastructure in the form of cold storage warehouses at both the source and destination centres for seamless transportation.