For the first time in history, across the Indian Railways, the South Central Railway loads special parcel train beyond the country borders to Benapole in Bangladesh with dry chillies from Reddipalem in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh state.
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. 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.
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, for the first time Guntur Division of South Central Railway under the guidance of Shri Gajanan Mallya, General Manger, SCR has taken initiative and took permission from Railway Board to move 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.
Gajanan Mallya, General Manager, SCR has appreciated the marketing efforts and initiative of Officers and staff of Guntur Division, which has mutually benefitted both customers and Railways. He 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 added.