Dry chillies from Guntur: Indian Rlys loads special parcel train to Bangladesh

New Delhi (NVI): In a first, Indian Railways has sent a special parcel train to transport chillies from Reddipalem in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh to Benapole in Bangladesh amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Railways said today.

“For the first time the Indian Railways, loaded special Parcel train beyond the country borders to Benapole in Bangladesh with Dry Chillies from Reddipalem in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh state,” the ministry said in a statement.

384 metric tonnes of dry chillies was loaded for export to Bangladesh from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh through South Central Railways.

Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal also shared a video on Twitter on the development. “On the Forefront to Increase Exports: For the 1st time, Railways sends Special Parcel Train to transport chillies from India to Bangladesh,” he tweeted.

South Central Railway also tweeted: “For the first time across the #IndianRailways South Central Railway loads Special Parcel Train beyond the country borders to Benapole in #Bangladesh Bangladesh with Dry Chillies from Reddipalem in Guntur District of #AndhraPradesh state @RailMinIndia.”

Guntur and its surrounding areas in the state of Andhra Pradesh are well known for Chillies cultivation. The quality of this farm produce is internationally renewed for its uniqueness in taste and brand, the Railways Ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, the farmers and merchants in and around Guntur area have been transporting Dry Chillies by road to Bangladesh in small quantities and that was costing around Rs 7000 per tonne. During the lockdown period, they could not move this essential commodity by Road. Then Railway staff and Officials approached the consignors and explained the facilities to transport by Rail. Accordingly, they have moved the Dry Chillies by Rail in bulk through goods trains.

But for moving the consignment by Goods trains, it is mandatory for the farmers and merchants to mobilise the quantity in bulk i.e. at least more than 1500 tonnes in each trip, the ministry said.

To mitigate this problem and to facilitate the Rail users to move their quantities in smalls i.e., up to a maximum of 500 tonnes in each trip, Guntur Division of South Central Railway took the initiative and moved the Special Parcel Express to Bangladesh. This has helped the farmers and merchants of Guntur to market their farm produce beyond the country border by transporting the Dry Chillies in small quantities through Special Parcel Express.

Accordingly, one Special Parcel Express train consisting of 16 Parcel Van moved to Benapole in Bangladesh. 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 Rs. 4,608 and which is very cheap and economical as compared to Road transport which is amounting to Rs. 7,000 per tonne.

It may be noted that Indian Railways has taken a series of steps to boost parcel train traffic during the Covid period.

Transportation of essential items like medical supplies, medical equipment, food, etc in small parcel sizes are a very important items that needed for business as well as consumption purposes. In order to fill in this vital need, Indian Railways has made railway parcel vans available for quick mass transportation by E-Commerce entities and other customers including State governments. Railways has been running time-tabled Parcel Special trains on select routes, to ensure an uninterrupted supply of essential items.

According to the Ministry of Railways, a total of 4434 parcel trains have run March 22 till July 11, out of which 4,304 have been time-tabled trains.