Union Minister Nitin Gadkari would flag off the maiden run of Kisan Rail carrying nearly 300 tonnes of mandarin fruit to New Delhi from Nagpur on Wednesday at 6 pm. A mini rake of 10 parcel vans (VPs) would be run till Adarsh Nagar station in New Delhi carrying first bulk consignment of the table fruit from the orange belt of Central India. As per stipulation of Railway Board, parcels of perishable products within the country can be carried in short rakes. The decision was done to aid faster transport of perishable goods to markets from farms and cut down wastage in transport. Apart from that Railway too stands to benefit as it is making optimum utilisation of its assets and ensuring that COVID-19 pandemic do not choke the supply lines.
In run-up to Kisan Rail, Central Railway’s Nagpur Division placed VPs at Warud (5), Katol (1), Narkher (1) and Pandhurna (3) to facilitate loading by the traders who placed their indents for transport of oranges. In addition, division bosses decided to add two extra bogies over and above Board’s stipulation and the gamble has paid off. The response from commission agents is increasing and one consignment of 10 tonnes is arriving for loading to city from Morshi. Since the VPs at adjoining stations were already full, the agent frantically contacted Commercial Department officials and inquired about availability of VP. The officials are sure that even the balance spare capacity as of now would be fully loaded as word spread about availability of VPs. CR it seems is all set to capture lion’s share in transport of the mandarin oranges and Warud station would see major loading as major produce is now concentrated in this belt. The oranges are still being harvested and by third week of October the quantity of arrival in Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yard would increase manifold. Even South East Central Railway (SECR) Nagpur Division is seeking to capture orange traffic, this is a new product for railways, and is concentrating on Saunsar in neighbouring Chhindwara district.