In a move to help farmers, the Railways propose to introduce special trains to carry perishable products like fruits, vegetables and fish from identified production clusters to consumer centres.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said in her Budget speech in Parliament that Railways will also encourage creation of facilities for setting up cold storage and temperature-controlled perishable cargo centres and its transportation through public-private partnership mode.
For this purpose, the Railways will associate professional agencies to identify locations and designing proper services.
She said at present the country suffers an "unacceptable" loss of about Rs 35,000 crore to Rs.40,000 crore every year due to wastage of fruits and vegetables.
Banerjee said to promote small industry, the Railways will facilitate movement of village handicraft, cottage industry and textile products from production clusters like Tirupur (in Tamil Nadu) and Dhanekhali and Shantipur (in West Bengal) to consumption centres.
"This will greatly increase their outreach and access to the market," she said.