Ban on parcel services hits trade in Kozhikode

Trade and commerce in Kozhikode city has been traditionally linked to the railway station.

Trade and commerce in Kozhikode city has been traditionally linked to the railway station.   | Photo Credit: K_RAGESH

Inward parcel volume drops by one-third in one month

The trading community has urged the Ministry of Railways to reinstate parcel bookings in express trains from Kozhikode railway station in the wake of the severe slump in trade and commerce in the city.

A recent rule of the Railways reducing the halt of trains from five minutes to three has virtually hit merchants who are yet to recover from the impact of demonetisation and GST. Moreover, it prohibited parcel bookings to and from stations where the halt is less than five minutes. Barring one, all the 96 express trains passing through Kozhikode daily have three-minute halt at the station.

The city heavily relied on railway parcel services for transport of goods. Now, the volume of inward parcels has come down by one-third in one month, while outward parcel bookings to Kozhikode have declined by nearly six times.

“Traders have always faced hardships. Now, we have hit rock bottom thanks to ban on parcel services,” said Malabar Development Council president C.E. Chakkunny.

The Railways’ contention that the new timings have been introduced to ensure punctuality holds only to a limited extent. The new rule came into force in August last.

According to Mr. Chakkunny, traders now take passenger tickets and carry goods booked like ordinary luggage by paying 30% more than the parcel rates.

Trade and commerce in the city have been traditionally linked to the railway station which has been classified as A-1. Kozhikode is also one of the 23 stations in the country identified for a ₹75-crore project envisaged under the Swiss Challenge Method.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 3:12:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/ban-on-parcel-services-hits-trade-in-kozhikode/article28827494.ece

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