Guwahati: The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has commenced ferrying of raw natural rubber sheets, as a new stream of goods traffic from Tripura to various states in the country, officials said on Friday.
Northeast Frontier Railway’s Chief PRO Guneet Kaur said that the railways, in co-operation with the Tripura government, has begun transporting natural rubber sheets to different parts of the country and it would economically benefit the rubber growers as well as traders besides transporters of the local area. The PRO added that ‘interactions with rubber traders were held and the traders were informed that they can easily transport rubber from their nearest convenient railway station at a much cheaper rate in comparison to roadways’.
Notably, Tripura, which is the 2nd largest natural rubber producing state in the country after Kerala, is currently cultivating natural rubber in 87,500 hectares of land and producing 90,000 tonnes of rubber annually. Over 1.50 lakh families are directly and indirectly associated with rubber cultivation in the state.
The PRO said, “Tripura exported more than 53,000 tonnes of rubber during the 2020-21 financial year to Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Delhi. Transportation normally takes place through roads causing higher carrying cost.” Natural rubber is mainly produced in West Tripura, South Tripura and Sipahijala districts and these districts are served by railway stations like Sabroom, Belonia, Udaipur, Agartala, and Jirania.