To supply agricultural products to the capital, from different parts of the country, 125 luggage vans are being added to the fleet of Bangladesh Railway.
Bangladesh Railway has completed an agreement with the Chinese company JV of CNTIC-RAILTECO-JINXI to supply the luggage vans.
Railway Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan was present at the ceremony as the chief guest.
Additionally, the representatives of the Chinese organisation Young Bing, Secretary to the Railway Ministry Md Selim Reza, Md Shamsuzzaman, director general of Bangladesh Railway, among others, were present at the programme.
Sources said that among the vans, there are 50 broad gauges and 75 metre gauges.
The vans would primarily be used for transporting agricultural goods. Once the trains are in operation, the residents of the capital would get fresh agricultural produce from remote areas at an affordable price.
These special trains would have ordinary vans for transporting vegetables. Moreover, there would be refrigerated vans for transporting frozen food including fish, meat and milk.
The agricultural goods would arrive at the Tejgaon Railway Station, and they would be distributed to different markets of the capital.
Once the luggage vans are introduced, the farmers would also benefit as they would help to get agricultural products at lower prices.
The cost of transporting agricultural products from other districts to Dhaka would be lower too, while the produce would remain fresh.
It was said at the event that the estimated cost of 125 luggage vans will be around US$4.27 crore, which is equivalent to Tk358.39 crore (excluding CD-VAT).
The supply of the vans will begin within 20 months from the date of contract signing and supply would end within 27 months.
"The government has prioritised the development of the railway sector. As part of its continuity, these luggage vans are being purchased after 40 years; for transporting passengers, cargo and specialised goods as well," said the railway minister.
When asked if there was any plan to increase fares, the minister said no plan has been made to increase fares.
"However, research is underway to increase the rent," he added.