In an effort to ameliorate farmers’ income and their selling of agro products, Indian Railways has operated nearly 2,359 Kisan Rail services till January 2023. It transported around 7.9 lakh tonnes of perishables from one place to another. The first Kisan Rail was flagged off from Maharashtra’s Devlali to Bihar’s Danapur by then Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Agricultural Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on August 07, 2020.
A look at state-wise data on the operation of Kisan Rail trains:-
The railways have operated 116 Kisan Rail services in Andhra Pradesh, 62 in Gujarat, 46 in Karnataka, 1,838 in Maharashtra, 74 in Madhya Pradesh, 15 in Punjab, 5 in Rajasthan, 76 in Uttar Pradesh, 59 in West Bengal, and 66 in Telangana. The national transporter has operated one Kisan Rail train in Assam and Tripura.
Indian Railways is offering a subsidy of 45 percent in freight for the transportation of fruits and vegetables by Kisan rail. This subsidy will remain applicable till March 31, 2023. Up to March 31, 2022, a 50 percent subsidy in freight was granted by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI).
During the current financial year and up to January 31, 2023, the railways have disbursed Rs four crore as a subsidy. In the FY 2020-21, Railways disbursed Rs 27.79 crore as a subsidy which was reimbursed by MoFPI. In the 2021-22 fiscal year, the railways disbursed Rs 121.86 crore as a subsidy, out of which only Rs 50 crore was reimbursed by MoFPI.
About Kisan Rail Services:-
The Kisan Rail services aim to enable speedy transportation of perishables and agro commodities including vegetables, meat, poultry, fishery, dairy products, etc. It carries the materials from production or surplus regions to consumption or deficient regions. These services are timetabled as well as demand based.
The movement of Kisan Rail trains is decided in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the State Government, local bodies and agencies, Mandis, etc.