News : Mobile Call Centre to Combat Harassment in Transportation
New Delhi, Sept 12, 2014 -- The agriculture ministry has launched a call-in facility to facilitate smoother transportation of perishable goods across the country. The move may help control prices of perishable goods by ensuring smooth supply of these items to markets.
Reefer Vehicle Call-in-Centre (RVC) - will serve as a single point telephonic contact for recording all forms of in-transit bottlenecks including "extortion, transit delays and any kind of harassment".
This toll free call-in facility will be available to all transport operators of horticultural, pharmaceutical, livestock, dairy and other refrigerated goods. The call-in-centre can be reached through a toll free number where grievances of truck drivers and transport operators, transporting perishable goods, can be registered.
Launching this call-in facility, the Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said, "The cold chain sector is fast growing, and key products including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, confectionery and pharmaceuticals are critically dependent on it.
"An essential link between source and markets is refrigerated transport, which face several bottlenecks and challenges. The RVC will help crate a database of bottlenecks and their types across the national highways. The response generated from this exercise will help devise long term plans and policies to alleviate bottlenecks".
The minister said that this initiative, perhaps first of this kind in the world, would provide help in registering the complaints of more than 30,000 vehicles carrying perishable goods like vegetables and fruits.
The information provided by RVC may help transporters to re-route trips away from critical zones, and improve service options for refrigerated transport services. This will also help future development of other modes of long haul transport of farm produce.
Such facilitation will greatly contribute to minimise wastage due to delays in transportation of perishable goods, particularly those carrying fruits, vegetables, fish and meat.
The RVC is a joint initiative by the department of agriculture and cooperation, National Centre for Cold-chain Development (NCCD) and Mahindra Logistics.
India currently produces about 270 million tonnes of fruits and vegetables and there are about 8000 refrigerated trucks capable of total cargo capacity of 3.6 million tonnes.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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