Seeking anonymity, more than one officers said the initiative failed from the very beginning because there was no preparation beforehand
The railway department is yet to get expected bookings for the parcel train even after changing the route from Chattogram-Dhaka to Chattogram-Sarishabari.
The parcel train was launched on the Chattogram-Dhaka route on May 1. However, the authorities stopped the service after three days. On May 6, the train started running on the Chattogram-Sarishabari route. Yet, the authorities are not happy with the number of bookings.
Five coaches of the train are assigned for agricultural goods, but most of the coaches go empty every day. As the booking orders of agricultural goods are not sufficient, the authorities are carrying commercial goods including furniture and refrigerators instead to recover losses.
Booking fees range from Tk15,000-25,000 per coach, said the Railway's Chattogram Divisional Commercial Officer Ansar Ali.
Chattogram Railway Station Manager Raton Kumar Chowdhury told The Business Standard that only one and a half coaches out of five were booked on Wednesday. Most of the time half of the coaches remain empty.
The initiatives to launch the parcel train was taken by prioritising the transportation of agricultural goods, vegetables, and daily necessities amid the transportation crisis caused by the lockdown over the Covid-19 outbreak.
Seeking anonymity, more than one officers said the initiative failed from the very beginning because there was no preparation beforehand and no marketing for the service. As a result, the number of booking was not as high as expected.
When contacted regarding this issue, the director of Bangladesh Railway (East Zone), Nasir Uddin Ahmed, hung up the phone after saying that he was busy.