SWR Mysuru’s Business Development Unit interacts with traders, farmers
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SWR Mysuru’s Business Development Unit interacts with traders, farmers

September 13, 2021

• Discusses possibility of operating Kisan Rail from Challakere

• Ensures timely supply of rakes comprising wagons in good condition

• DRM highlights discount available in Station-to-Station Scheme

Mysore/Mysuru: The Business Development Unit (BDU) of South Western Railway (SWR), Mysuru Division, headed by Senior Officers of Operations and Commercial Departments, held a meeting with traders/ farmers in Chitradurga and Davangere region.

The meeting took place in the office of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), Challakere, to explore the possibility of operating Kisan Rail services from Chitradurga/ Davangere district to various destinations on the Indian Railway network. Around 15 traders, along with representatives of FKCCI, participated in the meeting.

Onion is grown in about 60,000 hectares in Chitradurga district and approximately 1 lakh tonne is transported to various States across the country by road every month. However, this year the harvest has been affected due to unseasonal rains resulting in poor quality of produce of smaller size. This has badly affected the farmers and traders as buyers are not keen to take it. Similarly, around 70 to 80 tonnes of groundnut is being transported by road to Chennai Port daily. 

The BDU members explained the traders/ farmers the salient features of the policy formulated by the Government for transportation of the perishables by Kisan Rail which protect the growers of fruit and vegetables from making distress sale and reduce post harvest losses. The 50% subsidy given in freight would be a game changer which enables the small farmers from remote villages to connect to the mainstream market without any middleman and there is no minimum limit on quantity that can be booked.

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The traders have shown keen interest in the proposal and assured to start loading of procures from Challakere in near feature. The possibility of operating Kisan Rail from Challakere was also discussed.

Sponge iron manufacturers

The BDU of Mysuru Division also held a meeting with sponge iron manufacturers along with  Vedanta Ltd., who supply the raw material to these firms.

As many as 17 sponge iron manufacturing Plants are located in and around Obalapuram and Somalapuram on the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh border.

The production capacity of each Plant is of the order of 60-70,000 tonnes per annum with an intake of roughly 12-16,000 tonnes of iron ore per month. Nearly 50% of iron ore is sourced from Chitradurga district and moved in trucks from mines to manufacturing units.

Railway suggested the interested parties to start booking to  Somalapuram for the time being as nearly 8 factories lay within a radius of 15 kilometres from Somalapuram Railway Station. Railway emphasised that timely supply of rakes comprising wagons in good condition will be ensured.

It was stressed that the Railway’s ability to move ore in bulk and thus doing away with frequent blockade and hold up of trucks by villages could be highly advantageous. 

Vedanta Ltd. wanted Railways to throw open both Obalapuram and Somalapuram Railway Stations for unloading of ore to overcome the problems of disruptions of vehicular movement by villagers. It was assured that Obalapuram shall also be opened in the near feature.

Maize traders

Similar meeting took place with Maize traders from Davangere, Ranibennur, Haveri and Chitradurga districts where Rahul Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Mysuru, participated virtually and requested the traders to come out with any issues related to maize loading so as to gear up for the ensuing season.

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Few of the customers demanded for reduction in freight so as to match road rates. DRM assured that this would be looked into and informed that discount already exists in Station-to-Station Scheme and can be immediately availed.

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