Commerce between India and Bangladesh is expected to get a fresh boost with a container train service between Kolkata and Dhaka on Tuesday making its debut from the container terminal located at Majerhatarea in the city.
Eastern Railway general manager Harindra Rao flagged off the trial run of the train carrying 60 containers in as many rakes. The train will go to the Bangabandhu West Terminal in Bangladesh. While the terminal is 117 km from Dhaka, it is closer to the industrial hubs near the Bangla capital.
Talking to reporters, Rao said while passenger and goods trains run between India and Bangladesh, this is the first time that container train service between the two countries has been introduced. “Container train service is the future of the movement of goods through the railways. There is no denying that,” Rao said.
SA Rehman, senior general manager of Container Corporation of India, said that depending upon the demand, the train could be operated up to two times a week. Explaining the difference between an ordinary goods train and container train, Rehman said while goods trains were generally used for transporting low-value products, a container train could be used for shipping high-end items also, such as consumer durables, automobiles, etc.
The train flagged off on Tuesday carried de-oiled soya cakes used as feed for poultry firms and fisheries. Ganesh Uppala, director of Srinivasa farms of Hyderabad, said they were sending 1,250 tonnes of de-oiled cakes (DOC) through the train.
“There is a lot of demand for DOC in Bangladesh,” Uppala said, adding that due to problem of logistics, Indian merchants were unable to offer competitive price for exporting the item to Bangladesh.
The container train service could be useful in this regard, he said.