The trial run of the Kolkata-Dhaka container train has been flagged off today, loaded with 60 containers, mainly carrying de-oiled cake which serves as a raw material for animal feed. This is for the first time that a container service started between India and Bangladesh, even though passenger and goods trains run between the two countries.
India-Bangladesh relations boost: The trial run of the Kolkata-Dhaka container train has been flagged off today, loaded with 60 containers, mainly carrying de-oiled cake which serves as a raw material for animal feed. This is for the first time that a container service started between India and Bangladesh, even though passenger and goods trains run between the two countries. Apart from making trade safer and more organized, container trains also save time and trade costs. This comes as a boost for exporters’ forums which had been demanding this for a very long time. According to senior officials, generally, container trains carry machine parts, chemicals, automobiles and consumer durables, as these items involve a shorter transporting time. In addition to this, they also said that if the container service becomes successful, then the service would reduce the transportation time drastically.
The container train which has been flagged off from Container Corporation of India (Concor), near Majherhat station in Kolkata, will travel a distance of 300 km. In India, the container train will travel through Sealdah, Naihati, Ranaghat and Gede and in Bangladesh, the container train will cover Darsana and Ishurdi before reaching Bangabandhu West railway station, which is 117 km away from the country’s capital Dhaka. According to Eastern Railway’s General Manager Harindra Rao, container train services will be introduced on a regular basis, once the trial run is successful and if Bangladesh gives its clearances. He also said that Indian Railways is ready for that. The frequency of the container train service will depend on the demand, GM added.
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According to Container Corporation of India’s Chairman and Managing Director Kalyana Rama, there has been a demand for exporting goods to Bangladesh. He also said that items like steel, cement, machine parts, food grains and many others are being imported by the neighboring countries.
According to an IE report, as per the deliberations between the two nations, there is demand for de-oiled cake from Nagpur, rice and cement from Chhattisgarh, sugar from western part of Uttar Pradesh, clay from Rajasthan, cotton from Ludhiana and ready garments from Ahmedabad. In addition to these, there is also a demand for four 50 to 60-container rakes from India to Bangladesh, mostly bound for Chittagong port by railway and then further by sea route.
Currently, the bilateral trade between the two countries is largely based on roadways, through the congested Petrapole-Benapole border. According to some exporters, for a truck to reach Bangladesh, it takes around one month duration as it takes around 25 days for customs clearance at the border.