Now, Refrigerated Parcel Van on rail to transport perishable produce
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Now, Refrigerated Parcel Van on rail to transport perishable produce

September 4, 2020

SWR Mysuru Division transports a consignment of ginger from Hassan to Howrah

Mysore/Mysuru: The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the agricultural value chains in the country posing risks to food security. With a view to limiting the impact of the pandemic, Ministry of Railways has recently run a pilot Kisan Rail, consistent with the policy formulated by the Government under the National Cold Supply Chain for perishables.

In this scheme, 17-tonne capacity refrigerated parcel vans will be transported, either with freight trains or express passenger-carrying trains, to cut short the transit time significantly.

Close on the heels of the experimental train Kisan Rail run by Indian Railways recently, Mysuru Division, through deliberations with local Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) at Hassan secured a consignment of ginger for movement to Howrah.

The refrigerated parcel van with 17 tonnes of ginger left for Howrah with a delivery schedule of 48 hours whereas, as per a conservative estimate, transportation by road takes anywhere between 6-8 days, which is a great advantage, especially for perishables.

This perishable traffic in nearby district of Old Mysuru in very large volume is mostly moved by road to different part of the country and in order to scout for and capture this traffic, multiple meetings were conducted with trade and APMC of various districts by the Business Development Unit.

The huge savings in transit time compared to road transportation with a marginal difference in rail freight vis-a-vis road rates, these cold supply chains are immensely beneficial to agricultural sector to raise incomes in the food sector, especially in the present scenario. Further, talks are on with APMCs of districts served by Mysuru Division to explore the possibility of running full trains with refrigerated vans to different destinations across the country.

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The Railways hereby urge APMCs to impress upon the growers to make full use of the new scheme for transportation of their perishables to far-flung areas in quick time, according to a press release.

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