Traders have become interested in importing goods by rail instead of road through Benapole-Petrapole port as trade remained suspended for two-and-a-half months due to the Covid-19 lockdown in India.
The choice of railway as an alternative to import raw materials has brought relief among traders.
Jashore railway station authorities said in the last 15 days, the railway through Benapole port has imported 20,000 tonnes of foodgrains worth $2,705,906.70 in 35 shipments from India.
Apart from revenues by the customs department, the railway is also earning revenues from these products. Imported goods include onion, ginger, turmeric, cumin, dried chillies and paddy seeds.
Benapole Customs House Revenue Officer Naeem Miron said the import of food raw materials by road remained suspended due to the situation caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
"With special permission, import of these raw materials by rail has now started. Customs officials are working relentlessly so that traders can unload the imported goods quickly," he added.
Tuhin Saha, a raw material importer in Jashore, said as the products were stuck in India due to the lockdown, they have counted losses of crores of taka.
"Later, on the advice of the customs, we get permission for import by railways."
Onion importer Ejaz Hossain Tipu said, "If raw materials are stuck at Petrapole port, we have to suffer huge losses. Now we are able to avoid losses through import by rail."
Station Master at Jashore railway station Shahiduzzaman said raw materials were not imported by rail earlie. "With the start of import of raw materials by rail, revenue collection of railways has increased."
In the last 15 days, the railway has earned Tk6,633,000 in revenues from the import of goods by rail through Benapole port.