Puttur: Movement of agricultural commodities through the Konkan Railway at concessionary rates for which an experimental run will start from September 25.
Railway officials gave this assurance at a meeting of traders, CAMPCO officials and transporters held at APMC auditorium on Saturday, August 29.
MLA Sanjeeva Matandoor who presided the meeting said that the launch of the Kisan Rail Yojana by the Central government would support the development of agriculture. If there is adequate transportation, it is possible to prevent a price drop. The Chali areca nut from the district is the most sought after in Gujarat and Rajasthan and the Konkan Railway has offered to transport them at competitive rates. This will reduce shipping costs and save time. Now that the date has also been set for the trial run, the traders of Puttur should cooperate.
Not only the areca nut but also cashew, rubber and black pepper will be transported from the growers’ door to the customer’s doorstep, he added.
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Speaking on the occasion APMC President Dinesh Medu said that after MLAs and MPs came forward, the Railways decided to make Puttur the hub for transporting areca nuts from Sullia, Kadaba and Belthangady at the lowest rates in the State.
He added that the APMC would fully support temporary warehousing of the produce for transport.
The President of the Arecanut Growers Association Ravindranath Rai Bellmajalu, Honorary President Shashank Kotecha and Secretary K.A. Siddique, areca nut growers Bhavin Shet, Janardhan Betta, Sinan and Khalandar along with APMC Secretary Ramachandra discussed with Railway officials.
Public Relations Officer of Konkan Railway Sudha Krishnamurthy said that a new Railways parcel service was launched by the Central government. The Konkan Railway will be shipping agricultural products, to Mumbai, Gujarat and other States at discounted rates. The Konkan Railway will be fully responsible during the movement of the goods and will work on delivering it within 48 hours.
Vinaya Kumar, Regional Traffic Manager of Konkan Railway, said that a 63 tonne of areca nut can be carried in a goods wagon of the train. It is time-saving and a more secure system. Areca nuts loaded from here will be sent to Thokur near Mangaluru and will later be sent to railway stations about 50 kilometres near major cities and towns in Gujarat or Uttar Pradesh.