A special parcel train for transporting mangoes from Rajshahi and Chapainawabgonj to Dhaka will start functioning from June 5.
The West Zone of Bangladesh Railway has taken the initiative to transport mangoes at a lower cost for welfare of the mango traders and farmers amid the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
"Parcel fare has been reduced 25 percent since May 18 so that farmers and traders can transport mangoes easily," said Mohammad Ahsan Ullah, chief commercial manager of the west zone railway.
Not only mangoes, the traders and growers can transport vegetables and other seasonal fruits as well, he said.
"Every day, a cargo train will carry 270 tonnes of goods in six wagons. So, farmers and traders can transport goods at their will. It will cost Tk 1.30 to carry a kilogram of goods to Dhaka from Chapainawabganj. And it is Tk 1.17 from Rajshahi to Dhaka," 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.
West Zone General Manager Mihir Kanti Guha said all sorts of necessary preparations were taken to operate the mango parcel service effectively amid the coronavirus pandemic situation.
Over 600 porters in the zone were given foodstuffs aimed at lessening their livelihood related hardships being caused by the pandemic.
As part of the process, the West zone has installed disinfection rooms in both entry and exit points in Rajshahi railway station to stem novel coronavirus spreading.
"We have installed the rooms at the directives of the railway higher authority," he said, adding health protective measures including social distancing and other protective manners by all the persons concerned is very important.
Meanwhile, following the directives of the prime minister, the post and telecommunication ministry has arranged a truck of the postal department to transport mangoes to Dhaka free of cost.
Post and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar inaugurated the event at Puthiya Upazila in the district through a videoconference on Tuesday last.
Bangladesh Postal Department under its 'farmers-friendly postal services' programme will transport the mangoes of marginal and small farmers and traders.
Hamidul Haque, deputy commissioner of Rajshahi, said that the mango farmers and traders can avail the transportation opportunities by contacting their respective union nirbahi officers and upazila agriculture officers.
Officials said mango has been 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 groves were also nurtured on 12,671 hectares of land in Naogaon district where target was fixed to produce 1,61,242 tonnes of mangoes while in Natore district is expected to produce 56,021 tonnes of mangoes on 4,823 hectares of land.