The cost per tonne for carrying by special parcel express was Rs 4,608 and which is very cheap and economical as compared to road transport which will cost up to Rs 7,000 per tonne.
By: Our Correspondent
July 14, 2020: For the first time ever, the Indian Railways loaded special parcel train to Benapole in Bangladesh with 384 tonnes of dry chillies from Reddipalem in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh.
The cost per tonne for carrying by special parcel express was Rs 4,608 and which is very cheap and economical as compared to road transport which will cost up to Rs 7,000 per tonne. The train was loaded with 466 dry chillies bags, weighing around 19.9 tonnes, in each 16 parcel van while the total weight was around 384 tonnes.
Guntur chillies & Bangladesh
Guntur and its surrounding areas in the state of Andhra Pradesh are well known for chillies cultivation. The quality of this farm produce is internationally renewed for its uniqueness in taste and brand. Earlier, the farmers and merchants in and around Guntur area have been transporting dry chillies by road to Bangladesh in small quantities and that was costing around Rs 7000 per tonne.
Lockdown and rail option
During the lockdown period, they could not move this essential commodity by road. Then Railway staff and officials approached the consignors and explained the facilities to transport by rail. Accordingly, they have moved the dry chillies by rail in bulk through goods trains. But for moving the consignment by goods trains, it is mandatory for the farmers and merchants to mobilise the quantity in bulk i.e. at least more than 1500 tonnes in each trip.
Beyond National Borders: Gearing up exports, for the first time, Railways transports dry chillies in a Special Parcel Train to Bangladesh. pic.twitter.com/DQOUnyLxxo
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) July 10, 2020
Guntur Division’s solution
To mitigate this problem and to facilitate the rail users to move their quantities in smalls 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. This has helped the farmers and merchants of Guntur to market their farm produce beyond the country border by transporting the dry chillies in small quantities.
The totals of 4434 parcel trains have run between March 22 and July 11, out of which 4,304 have been timetabled trains.