To transport mango, lychee, and other vegetables at low cost from Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj to Dhaka, a Mango Special Train has been launched again this year.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated activities of the train from Gonobhaban through a video conference on Thursday.
After the inauguration, the train departed Chapainawabganj at 4pm and reached Rajshahi at 5:20pm. The train then left for Dhaka with about 6,000 kilograms of goods.
Ahsan Ullah Bhuiyan, chief commercial officer of Bangladesh Railway (West), said that the Mango Special Train will carry goods in five wagons and a total of 200 tonnes of mangoes can be carried in the train with each wagon accommodating 40 tonnes of mangoes.
The Mango Train will charge Tk1.17 to carry per kilogram of mangoes while it costs about Tk20 to carry mangoes per kilogram through other courier services.
The Business Standard asked Ahsan Ullah Bhuiyan whether the railway will incur any loss by carrying the mangoes at such a low cost and he said, "If we can transport mangoes according to our capacity then the railway will not face any loss."
The train is scheduled to reach Rajshahi at the same time every day and depart for Dhaka at 5.50 pm and reach Dhaka at 2 am.
The Mango Special Train was launched last year to facilitate easy transportation of fruits and vegetables amid the pandemic.
Nearly 598 tonnes were transported in June and some 259 tonnes were transported in July. By transporting about 857 tonnes of goods, the railway authorities earned more than Tk9 lakh.