NASHIK: The country’s first Kisan Rail, which was launched in the Nashik district, has been closed for the past five months. Its closure is causing massive losses to the farmers. The business of crores of rupees has stopped. As stated by the administration, the train was stopped due to the coal shortage.
Kisan Rail train started on August 8, 2020, running from Deolali in Nashik to Patna. This railway helped to transport agricultural produce to the domestic market, which benefited the farmers on a large scale. This rail is closed from April 13, 2022. Coal shortage is felt in the state from the summer season, i.e., March to April. Therefore, railways have been closed due to coal traffic and other reasons. Due to this, one can see widespread dissatisfaction among the farmers.
Kisan Rail departs from Deolali four days a week. Out of 22 bogies, it was planned to reserve eight bogies at Deolali, four at Nashik Road, two at Lasalgaon, and eight at Manmad. A bogie can carry 24 tonnes of goods. A fare of 2.20 paise is collected for one kilo. The fare of one bogie was Rs 50K. The remaining 50,000 is the grant from the Centre. Therefore, the farmers benefitted from the rail.
Now, the government’s revenue is being affected due to the closure of Kisan Rail and farmers are also suffering losses. Earlier, Union minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dr Bharati Pawar had assured of every assistance to restart the Kisan Rail that has been stopped since April 13. The farmers are awaiting a favourable decision sooner.
The Kisan Rail was started at Deolali railway station, near Nashik Road railway station by Narendra Singh Tomar, the Union minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare on August 7, 2020.
Senior divisional commercial manager Shivraj Manaspure said the Railway Board controls the movement of the train. “Latest instruction, we received is that the train has been stopped till August 27 on all coal routes,” he said.
The stopping of the train is affecting the transportation of agricultural produce, besides forcing the farmers to pay a higher fare for transportation of goods. The traders also noted that there was a serious drop in the goods being transported by train after the Kisan Rail was discontinued.