The West Zone of Bangladesh Railway has earned revenue worth over Taka 26.3 lakh through transporting mango to Dhaka from this region during the current season.
Nasir Uddin, divisional commercial manager of the zone, told BSS that the railway has earned the revenue through transporting 22.35 lakh kilograms of mangoes from May 27 to July 15 last.The zone had launched the 'Special Mango Train' on Chapainawabganj-Dhaka route via Rajshahi on May 27 last for the second consecutive time.
He said the initiative has been taken to transport mangoes to Dhaka from these mango producing areas at a lower cost for welfare of the mango traders and farmers amid the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
The cargo train carried a maximum 150 tons of mangoes in five wagons every day. It costs Taka 1.17 to carry a kilogram of mango to Dhaka from Rajshahi and the same is Taka 1.30 from Chapainawabganj to Dhaka. So, farmers and traders can transport as much goods as they want.
Mango trader Rajib Hassan said the train fare is less than the courier as its costs Taka 1.30 per kilogram whereas the private sector courier cost is Taka 12. Moreover, mangoes are not damaged while transporting on the train, he added.
The train made a halt for loading mangoes at 14 stations on the Chapainawabganj-Dhaka railway route via Rajshahi. The parcel train also has stoppages at other stations based on parcel booking and unloading.
In addition to mango, there was provision of carrying all kinds of vegetables, seasonal fruits, eggs and other agricultural products at cheaper rates in the special train, he added.The railway porters conducted all sorts of the loading and unloading works of the goods. To this end, they were imparted need-based training on how to handle the goods from booking to loading as well as unloading properly.
In the previous year, the Mango Special Train was launched for the first time in the wake of growers' transportation problems amid the Covid-19 pandemic. "We’ve earned Taka 9.30 lakh revenue by transporting 857 tonnes of mango, lychee and other agricultural goods," Nasir Uddin added.
“We’re very much happy and satisfied after availing the scope of transporting mango to Dhaka through special parcel train for the second time in the region,” said Anwarul Haque, president of Rajshahi Agro Food Producer Society, adding that over 150 growers and traders are availed the opportunity.
Anwar Haque, who has mango orchards on around 50 bighas of land, terms the mango transportation through the cargo train as smooth, quickly, no trouble and wastage problem.
“I’m very much optimistic about raising the number of service-recipients of the cargo train in the years to come,” he added.
Officials said mango was cultivated on 26,150 hectares of areas in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts where it’s expected to yield 2,44,000 tonnes of mangoes this year.
Mango groves were also nurtured on 12,671 hectares of land in Naogaon district where the target was fixed to produce 1,61,242 tonnes of mangoes while it is expected to produce 56,021 tonnes of mangoes on 4,823 hectares of land in Natore district.