For the first time, the South Central Railway has loaded a special parcel train to transport chillies beyond the country’s borders to Benapole in Bangladesh. The dry chillies were from Reddipalem in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh.
Guntur and its surrounding areas are known for chillies cultivation. The quality of this farm produce is internationally renowned for its unique taste. Farmers and merchants in and around the Guntur area were earlier transporting dry chillies by road to Bangladesh in small quantities, spending around ₹7,000 per tonne.
During the lockdown period, they could not move this essential commodity by road. The Railway staff approached the consignors which paved the way for transport of bulk quantities by rail carrying over 1,500 tonnes in each trip.
Gajanan Mallya, General Manger, SCR, got the Railway Board’s permission to move a Special Parcel Express to Bangladesh and this has helped farmers and merchants of Guntur to market their farm produce beyond the country’s borders.
Accordingly, one Special Parcel Express train consisting of 16 parcel vans moved to Benapole in Bangladesh.
Each parcel van was loaded with 466 dry chillies bags, weighing around 19.9 tonnes, so the total weight of chillies carried by the Special Parcel Express was around 384 tonnes.
The cost per tonne worked out to ₹4,608 and which is much cheaper than ₹7,000 per tonne spent on road transport.