PATNA: The country's first ever weekly 'Kisan Rail" was flagged off on Friday from Maharashtra's Deolali to Bihar's Danapur to help farmers send their perishable agro products to inter-state markets without any delay.
Narendra Singh Tomar, Union minister of agriculture and farmer welfare minister, flagged off the train virtually in the presence of railways minister Piyush Goyal and others.
Goyal, tweeted, "This is the beginning of a major change in the lives of the farmers and consumers of the country".
The announcement of this train for farmers cultivating vegetables and fruits was made in the rail budget this year.
Chief spokesperson of East Central Railway (ECR), headquartered at Hajipur in Bihar, Rajesh Kumar said the 'Kisan Rail' will provide seamless connectivity among farmers, markets and consumers.
"All the required measures have been taken to safely transport perishable vegetables and fruits," he said.
He said the train has 11 specially built parcel coaches equipped with fridges to serve as cold storage on the go.
The 'Kisan Rail' will depart from Deolali in Nashik at 11 am every Friday and reach Danapur at 6.45 pm the next day.
The train will halt en route at Nashik Road, Manmad, Jalgaon, Bhusaval, Burhanpur, Khandwa, Itarsi, Jabalpur, Satna, Katni, Manikpur, Prayagraj Chheoki, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay junction and Buxar stations.
On its return journey, the train will depart from Danapur at 12 noon every Sunday and reach Deolali at 7.45 pm the next day.
"Earlier, these were moved in trucks to other states but now the farmers can book bogies according to their needs with zero risk of damages to crops and agro products," Kumar said.
From the Maharashtra side, onions, grapes and other perishable fruits will get markets elsewhere and from the Bihar side, makhana, fish and vegetables would be transported to big markets outside.