Indian government today said it has for the first time loaded a special parcel train to Bangladesh carrying 384 tonnes of dry chillies from Reddipalem in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh state.
The special express train of Indian Railways consisting of 16 parcel vans has started for Benapole in Bangladesh, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
Each parcel van was loaded with around 19.9 tonnes of dry chillies in 466 bags.
The cost per tonne for carrying cargo by special parcel express train is Rs 4,608, much cheaper compared to Rs 7,000 by road transport, the railway ministry said today.
Guntur and its surrounding areas are well known for cultivation of chillies and the quality of this farm produce is internationally renowned for its taste and brand.
Earlier, the farmers and merchants in and around Guntur area have been transporting dry chillies to Bangladesh by road in small quantities and that too at a higher cost per tonne.
During the lockdown period, they could not move this essential commodity by road. Then the Indian Railways approached the consignors and explained the facilities to transport by rail. Accordingly, they moved the dry chillies by rail in bulk through goods trains.
But the difficulty in moving the consignment by goods trains is that it is mandatory for farmers and merchants to mobilise the quantity in bulk that is at least more than 1,500 tonnes in each trip.
To overcome this problem and to facilitate the rail users to move their quantities in small quantities of 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 train carrying dry chillies to Bangladesh.