The West Zone of Bangladesh Railway is going to launch a 'special mango train' on Chapainawabganj-Dhaka route via Rajshahi from May 25.
"We have taken the decision of transporting mango to Dhaka from this producing area for the benefit of the growers and traders," Nasir Uddin, Divisional Commercial Manager of the zone, said, illustrating aspects of the decision.
He said the initiative has also been taken to transport mangoes at a lower cost for welfare of the mango traders and farmers amid the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
The train will depart Chapainawabganj at 4:30pm and Rajshahi station at 5:50pm and will reach Dhaka at 2:00am.
The cargo train will carry a maximum 150 tonnes of mangoes in five wagons every day. So, farmers and traders can transport goods at their will. It will cost Tk 1.17 to carry a kilogram of mango to Dhaka from Rajshahi. And it is Tk 1.30 from Chapainawabganj to Dhaka.
Nasir Uddin clarified that transport of mangoes in the special train would cost Tk 1,117 per tonne whereas courier services cost Tk 20,000 per tonne and private trucks cost around Tk 2,000 a tonne.
The train will make a stoppage for loading mangoes at 14 stations on the Chapainawabgonj-Dhaka railway route via Rajshahi. The parcel train may have stoppages at other stations based on parcel booking and unloading.
In addition to mango, there is provision of carrying all kinds of vegetables, seasonal fruits, eggs and other agricultural products in less cost in the special train, he added.
The railway porters will conduct all sorts of the loading and unloading works of the goods. To this end, the porters were imparted need-based training on how to handle the goods from booking to loading as well to unloading properly.
Last year, the Mango Special Train was launched for the first time in the wake of growers' transportation problems amid the Covid-19 pandemic. "We have earned Tk 9.30 lakh revenue by transporting 857 tonnes of mango, lychee and other agricultural products," Nasir Uddin added.
Officials said mango was cultivated on 26,150 hectares of areas in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts where it's expected to yield 2,44,000 tonnes of mangoes this year.
Mango orchards were also nurtured on 12,671 hectares of land in Naogaon district where the target was fixed to produce 1,61,242 tonnes of mangoes while Natore district is expected to produce 56,021 tonnes of mangoes on 4,823 hectares of land.