With the advent of summer, the Vijayawada division of the South Central Railway on Tuesday launched carting of mangoes from Nuzvid to New Azadpur station near Delhi by allocating special rakes.
The division has begun the carting of mangoes a decade ago and found that it is a win-win for farmers and traders on one hand and the Railways on the other. While the farmers and traders get handsome returns on mango load from the new market, the Railways earns revenue in the form of freight charges.
“We dispatched the first rake of the season to New Azadpur today. A total of 1,176 tonnes of fruit has been sent in all the 42 wagons of the rake,” B. Jaya Raju, Additional Divisional Railway Manager of the Vijayawada division, who monitored the despatch, told The Hindu on Tuesday.
Arrangements have been made to cart a total of 40 rakes from Nuzvid station to New Azadpur during the current season.
The division is estimated to earn about Rs. 6 crore in the form the freight tariff.
“We have provided basic amenities for both the traders and the labourers at the station.
“The traders sought one more exit point for returning the empty lorries after loading the fruit in the rake, and we will provide the same in a couple of days,” explained Mr. Jaya Raju.
At least 300 labourers work at a time to shift the fruit from the lorries coming from Nuzvid and surrounding villages to the tiny railway station at Nuzvid to the wagons. Till last year, the authorities had given only five hours of time for loading.
From this year onwards, the loading time has been extended to nine hours.
“Both the traders and labourers are very happy about it, as they can handle the job of loading a bit leisurely,” he pointed out.
The Vijayawada division had earned Rs. 5.12 crore by carting 34,314 tonnes of fruit in 32 rakes from Nuzvid in the 2009, whereas the freight earned was Rs. 4.25 crore in 2008 when the division shipped 29,484 tonnes of fruit in 27 rakes.
In 2007, 36,176 tonnes of mangoes were carted from Nuzvid in 32 rakes, earning a freight of Rs. 4.7 crore to the division.
“The traders said that the yield was good this year. There is also some increase in the freight charges, which is helping us earn a little bit more,” said Mr. Jaya Raju.
Keywords: King of fruits