Budget 2020

Budget 2020 | FM proposes Kisan Rail in PPP mode

Perishable goods like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fish, meat need to be carried in temperature controlled vans in order to travel long distances. File photo

Perishable goods like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fish, meat need to be carried in temperature controlled vans in order to travel long distances. File photo  

‘This is to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables’

Even as 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 in her Budget speech on Saturday, the Railways said nine such refrigerated vans were already available on its network.

Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav said these vans, with a carrying capacity of 17 tonnes each for transportation of highly-perishable parcel traffic, were developed and procured through the Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala.

“We are already working on the announcement made by the Finance Minister. With her proposal, there is a renewed impetus for us,” he said.

Pilot project

Mr. Yadav also said temperature-controlled perishable cargo centres were commissioned at Ghazipur Ghat (U.P.), New Azadpur (Adarsh Nagar, Delhi) and Raja ka Talab (U.P.) as a pilot project under the Kisan Vision Project by Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR) through a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiative. Another project is under construction at Lasalgaon in Maharashtra’s Nasik.

Approval has been granted to the Central Railside Warehousing Corporation to develop temperature-controlled storage facilities at Fatuha and Mancheswar. Cold storage facility has also been developed at Dadri.

“The Fresh and Healthy Enterprise Limited (FHEL) has been redeveloped as the Agriculture Logistics Centre at Rai, Sonepat. This facility is CONCOR’s 100% owned subsidiary, developed on a land measuring 16.4 acres,” Mr. Yadav said.

He added that 98 reefer (ventilated, insulated) rail containers with a carrying capacity of 12 tonnes per container were procured through CONCOR for movement of fruits and vegetables to different parts of the country.

PPP model

“To build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, the Indian Railways will set up Kisan Rail through PPP model so that perishable goods can be transported quickly,” Ms. Sitharaman said while presenting her Budget.

Perishable goods like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fish and meat need to be carried in such temperature-controlled vans.

The proposal to use refrigerated parcel vans to ferry perishables was first announced by then Railway minister Mamata Banerjee in the 2009-10 Budget. However, it failed to take off.

“There are no operational issues with the running of these vans. We needed infrastructure in the form of cold storage warehouses at both the source and destination centres. With the Budget announcement, we hope that private players will come forward and we will be able to transport such perishables with ease,” Mr. Yadav said.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 8:01:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/budget-2020-fm-proposes-kisan-rail-in-ppp-mode/article30710336.ece

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