Andhra Pradesh

First-ever international service of Indian railways transports chilli to Bangladesh

For the first time on Indian Railways SCR loads Special Parcel Train to Bangladesh. File photo

For the first time on Indian Railways SCR loads Special Parcel Train to Bangladesh. File photo  

The famed Guntur Chilli, known for its unique taste the world over, has created an unexpected opportunity for the Guntur Railway Division which operated a Time-Tabled Parcel Express to Bangladesh — the first-ever international service of Indian Railways.

In July, a parcel express with nine rakes filled with 4,068 tonnes of dry chilli stacked in bags left from Reddypalem station and within three days, chugged into Benapole Railway Station in Bangladesh.

This comes as a major achievement at a time when passenger operations were completely shut down in the wake of the nationwide lockdown imposed on March 25.

Guntur division, with a vast commercial operations platform, has also performed well and so far earned ₹148.56 crore by loading a total freight of 10.42 lakh tonnes when compared to the earnings of ₹58.61 crore during 2019-20, recording a growth of 153.47% in goods revenue.

 

“This is a major achievement for Guntur Railway Division and the running of Time-Tabled Parcel Train to Bangladesh has opened up opportunities for other divisions. Now, we are looking to expand it by trying to transport other commodities. We have also set up a Business Development Unit to facilitate exports and we are in touch with traders in tobacco, cotton and other commercial crop traders,” Divisional Railway Manager, Guntur, R. Mohana Raja told The Hindu on Saturday.

Usually, time-tabled parcel trains run with a minimum of 40 rakes, but after Guntur division secured the consent of Railway Board, it ran a parcel van to Bangladesh with nine rakes. Now, divisions in Nagpur, Nanded in Maharashtra have started exporting onion, turmeric to international destinations.

The Railways have also come up with an online portal freight operating system — fois.indianrail.gov.in — for companies/firms to book freight online. Charges vary per tonne and per km charges are as low as ₹1.30.

Following the successful initiative, the Railways is looking for opportunities to work with leading companies in the region.

The Guntur division has begun shipping of rice from FCI godowns at Nagireddypalem to West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2020 10:46:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/first-time-tabled-parcel-train-transports-chilli-to-bangladesh/article32603674.ece

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