The Indian Railways has operated its first-ever special parcel train to Bangladesh transporting dry chillies from Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur. Earlier, the farmers and merchants in and around Guntur area have been transporting dry chillies by road to Bangladesh in small quantities. During the lockdown period when they could not move this essential commodity by road, Railway officials approached the consignors and explained the facilities to transport the produce by rail, the national carrier said.
For moving the consignment by goods trains, it is mandatory for farmers and merchants to mobilise the quantity in bulk — at least more than 1,500 tonnes in each trip.
“To mitigate this problem and to facilitate the rail users to move their quantities in small amounts, i.e. up to a maximum of 500 tonnes in each trip, Guntur Division of South Central Railway took the initiative and moved the Special Parcel Express to Bangladesh,” the statement said.
“Indian Railways is committed to aid in the export of Indian products! In a first, Indian Railways loads Special Parcel Train to transport dry chillis from Reddipalem in Andhra Pradesh to Bangladesh,” sharing the video Ministry of Railways tweeted.
The dry chillies were then moved in bulk to Benapole in Bangladesh by rail through a Special Parcel Express on July 10.
It also helped in reducing the cost of transportation. Sending the chillies to the neighbouring country by road cost around ₹7,000 per tonne while the expense for carrying the same by goods trains has come out to be ₹4,608 per tonne.
Guntur and its surrounding areas in Andhra Pradesh are well known for the cultivation of chillies. The quality of this farm produce is internationally renowned for its uniqueness in taste and brand.
It may be noted that Indian Railways has taken a series of steps to boost parcel train traffic during the Covid period.
Transportation of essential items like medical supplies, medical equipment, food, etc in small parcel sizes are a very important items that needed for business as well as consumption purposes. In order to fill in this vital need, Indian Railways has made railway parcel vans available for quick mass transportation by E-Commerce entities and other customers including State governments.
Railways has been running time-tabled parcel special trains on select routes, to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential items. The total of 4434 parcel trains have run from 22 March to 11 July, out of which 4,304 have been time-tabled trains.