South Central Railways has taken up the task of running Kisan Rail Specials, announced in Union Budget 2020-21, to help the farmers in getting proper market and price for their produce. As part of it, the Guntakal Division of South Central Railway has conducted a virtual meeting today i.e., 19th August 2020 with representatives of the State Government as well as the trader/farmer community for running of a “Kisan Rail Special” from Anantapur to North India to facilitate transportation of farm produces on top priority.
Shri Alok Tiwari, Divisional Railway Manager, Guntakal along with other Divisional Officials held a virtual web meeting with representatives comprising over 40 delegates. The meeting also saw participation from all important Public Representatives from Andhra Pradesh State including Shri Talari Ranganna, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Anantapur, Shri Anantha Venkata Rami Reddy, Hon’ble Member of Legislative Assembly, Ananatapur, Shri T. Prakash Reddy, Hon’ble Member of Legislative Assembly, Rapthadu and Shri Gandam Chandrudu, Anantapur District Collector among others.
During the meeting, District Collector, Anantapur stated that the District is known for cultivation of fruits and it is known as the Horticultural hub of Andhra Pradesh. He informed that several fruits like Sweet Lime, Pomegranate, Water Melons, Musk Melons, Papaya, Banana, Guva and other vegetables etc., are being cultivated in the District. Presently these are being transported by Road to various states in North India viz., Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab & West Bengal. However, as the transit time of these perishable goods for transporting by road is on the higher side, large quantity of the commodity is getting spoilt while on transit.
In this regard, the Divisional Railway authorities explained the benefits of speedy and safe transportation of the perishable commodities which could immensely benefit the farming community of Anantapur. Discussions were held with regard to the feasibility of running an exclusive KISAN Special from different rail heads located in Anantapur District to various Northern States of country. Significantly, the farmers / traders and exporters have evinced a keen interest of transporting their commodities by the railways which will be economical as well faster and safer. They requested to run the train on daily basis, particularly, from October to May, which is the peak harvesting period. During the rest of the period, discussions were held to run the train on a weekly or bi-weekly basis from Anantapur, Dharmavaram and Tadipatri Railway Stations.
During the meeting they have also requested Railways to provide enroute stoppages at Bhopal and Jhansi for loading/unloading. It was also requested for provision of cold storage facility at Railway Premises and Refrigerated Parcel Vans for transportation of the perishable agricultural produce.
In this regard, State Government Officials accepted for laisoning and assured to extend all the possible support to the farmers and traders for transporting their consignments by rail. They also informed that they are exploring the possibility for loading Milk as well in the Rail Milk Tank Wagons from Anantapur to New Delhi, on the lines of loading being done from Renigunta.
On this occasion, Shri Gajanan Mallya, General Manager, SCR appreciated the efforts of Divisional Railway Manager and his team of Guntakal Division for taking up the initiative to run the Kisan Special Rail. He advised the officials to extend all the possible support to the State Government and also farmers of Anantapur District to facilitate in transporting their farm produce. He also appreciated the active participation of Traders, Exporters, Farmers of Anantapur District and Horticulture Department Officials, Andhra Pradesh State in the virtual conference meeting.