PM Narendra Modi on Monday flagged off the 100th Kisan Rail from Sangola in Maharashtra to Shalimar in West Bengal and called it "a big step towards empowering the farmers and increasing their income."
"I congratulate crores of farmers of the country. Despite the COVID-19 challenge, the Kisan Rail network has expanded in the last four months and got its 100th rail now," Modi said via video conferencing.
PM Modi likened the Kisan Rail to a 'moving cold storage facility' as it would allow perishable items such as milk, fruits, vegetables and fish to be 'safely' transported from one place to another.
Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal were also present at the event, as per ANI reports.
According to an official statement, loading and unloading of perishable commodities will be permitted at all stoppages en route , PTI reported. The Centre has also extended a 50% subsidy on the transportation of fruits and vegetables.
The first Kisan Rail was introduced from Devlali in Maharashtra to Danapur in Bihar on August 7. Its frequency was increased from a weekly service to three days in a week.
The Prime Minister also praised the PM Krishi Sampada Yojana, under which 6500 projects, ranging from mega food parks to cold chain infrastructure, have been approved. The government's 'Atmanirbhar' package was mentioned, through which Rs 10,000 crores have been approved for micro food processing industries.
The launch of the train comes amid protests by farmers near Delhi's borders, against the Centre's recently passed farm laws.