A special parcel express train carrying dry chilies has reached Bangladesh from India's Andhra Pradesh.
The South Central Railway on July 10 announced that for the first time in the Indian Railways, it has loaded and despatched the special parcel train beyond the country's borders to Bangladesh, reports Outlook.
The train consisting of 16 parcel vans reached Benapole in Bangladesh, carrying red chilies from Reddipalem in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.
Each parcel van was loaded with 466 dry chillies bags, weighing around 19.9 tonnes and the total weight carried by the special parcel express is around 384 tonnes.
The cost per tonne for carrying by special parcel express is Rs4,608 and which is economical compared to Rs7,000 per tonne by road transport, the South Central Railway (SCR) said.
Guntur and its surrounding areas in the state of Andhra Pradesh are well known for chillies cultivation. Earlier, the farmers and merchants from the region were transporting dry chillies by road to Bangladesh in small quantities. During the lockdown period, they could not move this essential commodity by road.
Then, railway officials approached the consignors and explained the facilities to transport by rail.
For moving the consignment by goods trains, it was mandatory for the farmers and merchants to mobilise the quantity in bulk, that is at least 1,500 tonnes in each trip. To facilitate the rail users to move their quantities up to a maximum of 500 tonnes in each trip, the Guntur Division of SCR took permission from Railway Board to move special parcel express to Bangladesh.
Gajanan Mallya, general manager of SCR, advised the rail users, especially the farmers and merchants handling transportation of dry chillies and other essential commodities, to utilise this new facility for easy and hassle-free transportation of their goods.
Railway is the fastest, safest and cheapest mode of transport, he said.