Nashik: The first-ever ‘Kisan Train’ service, for transporting vegetables, fruits and other perishables, was started in the country on Friday. Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal green signalled the train, via videoconferencing. Currently, the train will run, once a week, between Deolali, near Nashik and Danapur Station in Bihar.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed starting a fully airconditioned train for perishable goods, with participation from the private sector, in the annual budget. This service has been started as per the proposal. In this service, perishables will be transported in an airconditioned environment from the home of the farmer to the destination marketplace. This service will enable the farmer to reach perishables, to distant markets in good condition, earning better profits.
This train left the Deolali station at 11 am. The train will travel a distance of 1,519 kilometres in 31 hours 45 minutes, to reach Danapur Station in Bihar at 6.45 in the evening. A railway official informed that the train would halt at Nashik Road, Manmad, Bhusawal, Burhanpur, Khandwa, Itarsi, Jabalpur, Satna, Katni, Manikpur, Prayagraj, Pt. Din Dayal Upadhyay Nagar and Buxar on the way to Danapur.
The objective of this service started through Public-Private Partnership, is to create a Cold Chain for transportation and sale of agricultural produce. There are huge perishable crops like vegetables, fruits, flowers, onion and many others, in the Nashik district and surrounding areas. In a way, this region is known as the ‘Kitchen Garden’. This service will enable transport of these perishables to cities like Patna, Allahabad, Satna, Katni, in the other states, along with the cities in Maharashtra.
In the past, the railway had started a train for Bananas. But this is the first train service for all types of perishables. This railway will properly ensure the transportation of perishables. Other than this train, the Container Corporation of India has created Cargo Centres at Gazipur Ghat and Raja Ka Talab, in Uttar Pradesh and New Azadpur in Delhi, for perishable goods. Creation of a similar facility at Lasalgaon in the Nashik district is at an advanced stage.