Railway Minister directs CR to operate Extra Rake for transporting Onions from Nashik

NASHIK: Central Railway will operate another freight train, in addition to existing three, from Nashik for transportation of onions to other parts of country, a senior official said today.

He said the orders to operate the rake from tomorrow came from Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, given the huge production of the bulb this year.

“Railway is providing four rakes for onion farmers to dispatch onion to hinterland (three for Central Railway destinations and one for South Central Railway destination).

As per the directives of the Minister for Railways, one more rake will be made available from February 20 for onion farmers for sending their produce to the markets,” Narendra Patil Chief Public Relations Officer of Central Railway said.

Onions Market in India

India is the second largest onion growing country in the world. Indian onions are famous for their pungency and are available round the year. Indian onions has two crop cycles, first harvesting starts in November to January and the second harvesting from January to May.

The Major Onion producing states area Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Tamil Nadu. Maharashtra ranks first in Onion production with a share of 27.72%. Maharashtra State contributes about 80-85% in the total onion export and Nashik which falls on Central Railway Mumbai Division is the major market for red onions in the country. Likewise, Nagarsol which is also in Maharashtra in Nanded Division) of South Central Railway also enjoys highest loading of onions.

There is a lot of demand of Indian Onion in the world, the country has exported 12,01,245.29 MT of fresh onion to the world for the worth of Rs. 2,747.41 crores during the year 2015-16.

Generally onion produced in Kharif and Late Kharif season is not suitable for storage while onion produced in summer season can be stored upto 5-6 months and it can be brought in the market during rainy season i.e. from June to October. There are certain problems which arises during conventional storage of onion viz. loss in weight, sprouting and rotting. To overcome these losses onion are stored in scientific manner.

Modern onion storage structures like the ones built by CONCOR have been so planned to aerate the onions from all sides. The following points to be followed by CONCOR during its construction of Onion Storage Structures in different parts of the country.

1. Lower base of onion storage structure has been raised from the ground level by 1.5′ to 2.00′ for that the foundation laid out according to soil type. Pillar height should be 1.5′ to 2′.
2. Skeleton of structure rests on these pillars made up of iron angles/wooden material. Lower base can is also made up of iron angles wooden battens. Its breadth should be a 5′.
3. Side wall is made up to bamboo battens/iron angle with the support and help of iron angles. Its height is 5′. Bamboo battens/iron angles so arranged that onions don’t come out of it and also proper air circulation is made at 5′ height.
4. Height of roof of onion storage structure is generally 2′ above onion stored. For roof iron/cement/Mangalore tiles are used. Material of roof is heat resistant. Also, according structural design roof have sufficient slope.
5. To avoid droplets rain water and sunlight, sides of roof are sufficiently projected outside and also same from direction of rain (south-west).
6. Sites selected for onion storage structure are well drained and are easily to good road.
7. Onion storage structure is naturally ventilated from lower and other sides. Circumstance for natural ventilation is avoided or minimised.
8. No tall civil work close to structures and Tall civil work is generally 1.5 times height of onion storage structure away from onion storage structure.
9. The width of onion storage structure should be 610 cm. for natural air circulation. In high humid area width of storage structure is less with provision of mechanism for air circulation. The width of onion storage structure is not more.
10. The length of onion storage structure is right angle to the direction of wind (East-West). While constructing onion storage structure the length of structure is in the direction of wind.
11. Windward side of storage have closing system during storm and heavy rain and opening facility when necessary. During storm and heavy rain windward side of storage will not be opened.
12. The sides of the roof are sufficiently forwarded to avoid rainwater and to resist heat. The sides are not short. The heat resistant material at the upper side of roof of onion storage structure are not equipped with galvanised iron sheets.