Traders opting trains to transport essential commodities amid the Covid-19 pandemic
Railway authorities in Bangladesh and India have achieved a record by running more than 100 trains in June to transport essential commodities amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
A press release was issued in this regard by the Indian High Commission in Bangladesh on Thursday.
“Indian Railways have handed over a total of 103 freight trains carrying essential commodities such as onion, ginger, chilies, maize, turmeric, rice seed, sugar, finished products, and raw materials for industries to Bangladesh Railways in June 2020,” said the release.
Even though there are regular freight train operations between two countries, this is the first time the number of freight trains operated by both the railways has crossed the 100-mark milestone, it added.
"Both the railways had come up with solutions to transport essential commodities across the border when the lockdown and transport restrictions were imposed by both countries to control the spread of Covid-19," it said.
On seeing the success of the movement of goods by rail, Bangladesh Railways has permitted parcel train service between India and Bangladesh as well.
“The carrying capacity of the parcel train will be 238 metric tons. This will be a great opportunity for traders to import a smaller quantity of goods,” the release said.
Many importers are now using the rail route for transporting their goods though they are not usually reliant on rail transportation services.
Earlier, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das had requested Bangladesh's Railways Ministry, the National Board of Revenue (NBR), and the Ministry of Commerce to look into railways as a viable option.
Now, NBR and Bangladesh Railways have agreed to facilitate container train service through Benapole-Petrapole Rail Link.
These initiatives are expected to widely serve the importers and exporters' requirements during the current crisis and help minimize the disruption in the supply chain.