Kolkata, Aug 12: The Eastern Railway from Thursday launched an exclusive train service named “Krishak Special” for the farmers in its suburban section on an experimental basis for the transportation of agricultural and perishable products.
Two trains titled “Krishak Special” will run between Gede and Sealdah as well as between Santipur and Sealdah six days a week in which vendors will be allowed to travel with the products.
The two trains will help a large number of farmers and vendors from Nadia and some parts of North 24 Parganas district to bring their agricultural products, particularly green vegetables of daily needs to the city markets.
On August 7, 2020, the Railways Ministry had first introduced the inter-state farmers’ special train (Kisan Rail) between Devlali (Maharashtra) to Danapur (Bihar) in pursuance of an announcement made by the Finance Minister in the 2020-21 Union Budget. This followed the launching of more similar inter-state Kisan special trains.
But, Eastern Railways’ ‘Krishak Special’ is the first-ever intra-state service launched in the suburban section to cater the service to a huge number of farmers and vendors who regularly struggle to transport their products to the city markets from rural areas traveling largely in general compartments.
The nine coach trains from Gede and Santipur will have limited stoppages in which general passengers will not be allowed to travel, a railway official said.
The Sealdah bound Krishak exceptional train from Gede will begin the excursion at 3 am and arrive at Sealdah at 5.46 am. Then again, a comparative train from Santipur will start the excursion at 1.20 pm and arrive at Sealdah at 3.50 pm.
“Vendors will be allowed to carry their agricultural items by using their Monthly Vendor Season Ticket, luggage tickets as well as unreserved tickets to travel in the train”, an ER communication stated.
Speaking about the objective of the two trains, an ER official said, “The early morning train from Gede is aimed to help farmers to ferry agricultural products, particularly green vegetables so that they could ensure supply to the city market in the morning.” “The other train from Santipur is specially aimed to help the chhana (cottage cheese) producers who regularly supply huge quantities of chhana to satisfy the demand of the confectioners”, the official added.
Meanwhile, ER authorities have decided that if this new special service becomes popular, similar trains will be introduced gradually in other suburban sections as well.
“This Krishak special train service is introduced on an experimental basis in the Suburban section. If this experiment becomes successful, launching of similar train services will be considered in other suburban sections as well”, Ekalabya Chakraborty, chief public relation officer of Eastern Railway said.