In a major boost to the rural economy, Karnataka's first Kisan Rail carrying 250 tonnes of mangoes grown in Chintamani, Kolar district will reach Delhi's Adarsh Nagar, on Monday. The train was flagged off from Doddanatha Halt, Kolar district, on Saturday, swiftly transporting the produce from Kolar mango plantations to the national capital within a span of 48 hours.
Kisan Rail services were started by the Indian Railways last year with the primary objective of increasing income in the farm sector by connecting production centres to markets/consumption centres across every corner of the country.
The trains are run on time-tabled paths and their punctuality is monitored very strictly to avoid detentions en-route. This helps in swift transport of fruits, vegetables and other perishable agricultural produce across the nation.
The transportation of fruits and vegetables by Kisan Rail is granted a subsidy of 50% on the tariff chargeable by the Ministry of Food Processing and Industries, so that farmers are benefited by the same.
Karnataka's first Kisan Rail train was flagged off in the presence of S Muniswamy, the Member of Parliament from Kolar, Chintamani MLA M Krishna Reddy and Ashok Kumar Verma, the Divisional Railway Manager from Doddanatta Halt Station.
Muniswamy praised the initiative of Railways to come forward and help farmers reach their produce to the market in the difficult time of Covid-19 pandemic when they are facing difficulty to sell their produce, which are perishable items.
He mentioned that Kolar is famous as the biggest producer of mangoes in Asia and grows mangoes over 1 lakh, 44,000 acres. He appealed that farmers should make use of Kisan Rails to transport farm produce such as tomatoes, onions in the seasons of their harvest.
Verma said that the transport of farm produce by train through Kisan Rail was cheaper and faster than by road. The road transport cost is about Rs 7-8 per kg whereas (with subsidy applied) the transport cost per kg by Kisan Rail is just Rs 2.82.
The South Western Railway aims to run a couple of Kisan Rail trains every week as the products reach Delhi in about 40 hours in comparison to about 3-4 days by road.