Indian railways have operated around 2,359 Kisan Rail services, transporting approximately 7.9 lakh tonnes of perishables since the launch of Kisan Rail service on 7 August 2020 until 31 January 2023, according to Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Railways.
Kisan rail service aims to increase the income in the farm sector by connecting production centres to markets and consumption centres.
The first Kisan Rail train was flagged-off on 7 August 2020 between Devlali (Maharashtra) and Danapur (Bihar).
“Potential circuits for movement of Kisan Rail services are identified in consultation with Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Agriculture/Animal Husbandry/Fisheries Departments of state governments as well as local bodies and agencies, Mandis etc, and based on demand, rakes are provided on priority for running of Kisan Rail services,” said Vaishnaw.
The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) provided a 50 per cent freight subsidy for shipment of fruits and vegetables via Kisan rail up to 31 March 2022, but this was not extended.
This subsidy was granted upfront at the time of booking itself, to the consignors/farmers — so that the benefit reaches the farmers without any hassles or procedural delays.
Following that, the railways continued to receive a 45 per cent subsidy. This subsidy is currently in effect until 31 March 2023.
Railways spent Rs 27.79 crore on subsidies in 2020-21, which were refunded by MoFPI. Railways spent Rs 121.86 crore on subsidies in 2021-22, of which only Rs 50 crore was refunded by MoFPI.
Railways have disbursed Rs 4 crore in subsidies for the current fiscal year, which ends on 31 January, 2023, according to the Ministry of railways.
State-Wise Data On Kisan Rail Train Operations:
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.
One Kisan Rail train has been operated in Assam and Tripura.
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