Importers are benefiting financially by importing goods using railway through Benapole port in Jashore. Goods are being imported quickly by railway without extortion.
Earlier, it used to take 15 days to import goods through Benapole port by road, now it takes only 4 days due to using railway.
As a result, the import of goods by rail is constantly increasing. On the other hand, the revenue of the railway sector has also increased. If this trend continues in the coming days, the pressure on import by roads will be reduced a lot. As a result, traders think that a new dimension will be added to the trade between the two countries.
According to Benapole port sources, the Indian government stopped import-export through Benapole port by railway and land on March 22 to prevent the spread of corona virus. As a result, 5,000 cargo trucks were stuck at Indian Petrapole port. Later, the Corona situation was somehow normal, but the import-export trade through this port was still hampered. So, the traders informed the port authorities of both countries about the loss.
The import activities started after the trade agreement between the two countries using a parcel van of train to facilitate alternative trade under the joint venture of India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce, Customs, Ports and Traders with the help of the Indian Embassy.
Currently, import activates of all types of goods in Benapole-Petrapol ports by land as well as by cargo rail, container train, side door cargo rail and parcel van is open. As a result, the suffering and financial losses of the traders have been reduced, the revenue of the government has also increased due to the increased pace of trade.
However, the port crisis is not over. At present, the port has 43 sheds and 10 yards. Where the capacity of the port is only 60 thousand M. tons, double quantity of goods are stored at the port. As a result, traders are facing crisis of space and entanglement of goods.
Traders using Benapole port said that due to the corona crisis, the import-export trade in the port was closed for 3 months and they spent their days with much hardship. Now they are very happy to increase the import of goods by land as well as by railway.
Matiar Rahman, Director of the India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce, said traders were counting huge losses due to the blockade, strike and extortion from goods trucks in the Indian Petrapole port. In many cases, trucks carrying import goods took almost one month to enter Benapole port from India. Now the imported goods are coming by railway, so, it is possible to unload the goods from the port very quickly.
Mofizur Rahman Sajan, president of the Benapole C&F Association, said a powerful syndicate of Petrapole, blocked the goods trucks for months and carried out large-scale extortion. Now as the import activity by railway has started, it will be possible to meet the revenue collection target in the current financial year, if continued.
Benapole Railway Manager Saiduzzaman said in July, 51,012 tons of goods were transported by railway, from which revenue of Tk 2 crore 80 lakh 57 thousand 920 was collected. Meanwhile, in the last 20 days of August, 26,000 tons of goods have been transported by rail, from which brought revenue of Tk 1.5 crore.
Benapole Port Deputy Director (Traffic) Mamun Tarafdar said trade in Corona was being disrupted in various ways due to various obstacles in Petrapole port in India. As a result, steps were taken to import all kinds of goods by railway to facilitate trade. Earlier, some goods including rice, wheat, stones and onions were imported in freight train wagons and were unloaded at Nawapara in Jashore.
At present all kinds of goods are being imported by rail wagon, parcel van and side door cargo rail and those goods are being unloaded at Benapole port.