In keeping with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s commitment towards “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas”, the Union budget 2020-2021 has reiterated that the government is committed to the goal of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022. Prosperity to farmers can be ensured by making farming competitive. For this, purchase of farm produce, logistics and agri‐services need copious investments. Farmers desire integrated solutions covering storage, financing, processing and marketing.
The budget proposes that “To build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of milk, meat and fish, the Indian Railways will set up a “Kisan Rail”- through PPP arrangements. There shall be refrigerated coaches in Express and Freight trains as well.”
Towards fulfillment of the budget proposals, following are the major initiatives which have already been taken by Indian Railways regarding Development of Cold Chain for Transportation of Perishable Traffic
Refrigerated Parcel Vans: New design of Refrigerated Parcel Vans (VPR, carrying capacity of 17 tonnes) for transportation of highly perishable parcel traffic was developed, and procured through Rail Coach Factory Kapurthala. At present, Indian Railway has a fleet of nine (09) Refrigerated Parcel Vans available.
These Refrigerated Parcel Vans are booked on round-trip basis, and are charged at 1.5 times the freight of normal VP as per category of train.
Reefer (Ventilated Insulated) Rail Containers: 98 Ventilated Insulated Containers (Carrying capacity 12 Tonnes per container, rake composition 80 containers) have been procured, through CONCOR, for movement of fruits and vegetables to different parts of the country.
Cold Storage Facilities for Perishables: ‘Temperature controlled perishable cargo centres’ have been commissioned at Ghazipur Ghat (U.P), New Azadpur (Adarsh Nagar, Delhi) and Raja ka Talab (U.P) as a pilot project under Kisan Vision Project by CONCOR under CSR initiative. Another project is under construction at Lasalgaon, Nasik (Maharashtra).
Approval has been granted to Central Railside Warehousing Corporation (CRWC) to develop temperature controlled storages at Fatuha and Mancheswar.
Cold storage facility has also been developed at Dadri. Fresh & Healthy Enterprise Ltd. (FHEL) has been redeveloped as Agriculture Logistic Center at Rai, Sonepat. This facility is CONCOR’s 100% own subsidiary developed in an area of 16.40 acres of land.
In his Independence Day speech 2019, Hon’ble Prime Minister had highlighted that Rs. 100 lakh crore would be invested on infrastructure over the next 5 years. As a follow up measure, the National Infrastructure Pipeline was launched on 31st December 2019. It consists of more than 6500 projects across sectors and are classified as per their size and stage of development. These new projects will also include modern railway stations, metro and railway transportation, logistics and warehousing etc.