Indian Railways will run parcel trains from Guwahati to Dibrugarh and Mendipathar (Meghalaya) to facilitate the transport of essential commodities in small quantities.
Under the aegis of the Northeast Frontier Railway, the parcel express trains will move to the two stations in Assam and Meghalaya for ensuring the supply of essential commodities, Subhanan Chanda, chief public relations officer of NF Railway, said on Wednesday.
Chanda said the parcel express train towards Mendipathar, located in North Garo Hills, and which is currently the only railway line in Meghalaya, will start from New Guwahati/Guwahati on Sunday with stoppage at Dhudnoi for loading and unloading of parcel packages during its journey.
The train will start around 10.20am from Guwahati on Sunday, and it will arrive at Dhudnoi at 1.25pm before departing at 2.15pm. It will arrive at Mendipathar at 2.40pm on the same day.
The return journey of the parcel express train will start from Mendipathar at 1pm on Monday, and will arrive at Dudhnoi at 2.15pm and Guwahati at 5.20pm.
Chanda said parcel booking for this train will remain open from 10am on Friday till 6pm of Friday for the Guwahati-Mendipathar portion, and 10am of April 11 to 6pm of April 12 for the Mendipathar-Guwahati route.
Chanda said another parcel express train will move to Dibrugarh on Monday from Guwahati. The train will start around 7am with 15-minute stops at Hojai, Lumding junction, Diphu, Dimapur, Sarupathar, Furkating junction, Mariani junction, Simaluguri junction and New Tinsukia during its journey for loading/unloading of items.
The train will start from Lumding at 11.45am, from Dimapur at 1.30pm, from Mariani at 5.25pm, from New Tinsukia at 9.25pm before reaching Dibrugarh at 10.40pm.
Parcel booking for this train will remain open from 10am on Friday to 6pm on Sunday. Traders and customers, including government agencies and departments can contact the respective station managers for details.
Chanda said the railways has made railway parcel vans available for quick mass transportation across the nation for the needy e-commerce companies and other customers, including state governments.
Provision of parcel trains and rapid transportation of goods will further bolster the efficiency of supply chains during the lockdown, he said, adding that this will help in movement of essential items.
Parcel trains are running between Changsari-Kalyan, Sealdah/Howrah-Guwahati and back, New Delhi-Guwahati and back, Shalimar-Changsari and back, Bangalore-Guwahati and back, Ahmedabad-Guwahati and back with all necessary items for common people.
More than 100 such parcel trains have been planned to run with fixed running time till April 16, Chanda said.
Chief minister Conrad K. Sangma has expressed gratitude to the railways and Union railways minister Piyush Goyal for the move.
“The permission will enable transportation of essential commodities to different areas of Garo hills,” Conrad said on his Twitter handle.