Krishna District is home to one of the best mango varieties in the country and export of the King of Fruits to other States in the country is on an average around 30,000 tonnes annually through the Railways.
This season is not considered to be a very good year for mango crop, but better than last season, helped the Railways also achieve handling 24,415 tonnes from April 1 to May 21 creating a sort of record as the projections for the season are reaching beyond 30,000 tonnes. Last season the Vijayawada Division of South Central Railway had handled only 25,200 tonnes, but now with another 10 days to go for the season to come to an end, Divisional Railway Manager Pradeep Kumar hopes they will gross the highest revenue too.
With freight tariff going up by 25 per cent from June 1 last year, the Division has already netted Rs.4.56 crore sending out 20 rakes comprising 42 covered wagons per rake. “There is still some demand from the aggregators and exporters to send mangoes to Anand Nagar Delhi station and we are ready to supply any number of rakes within a short notice,” the DRM told The Hindu on Wednesday.
While each wagon can be loaded with 30 tonnes, it takes about five to six hours and the Railways places wagons at Nuzvid station at 7 a.m. everyday and ensures that the rake crosses Andhra Pradesh same day to reach New Delhi within 48 hours to ensure the half-ripe Mangoes are just ripe enough for consumption and are sold in the market in Northern States.
The 2009-10 season saw the highest loading of 32 wagons sending out 34,314 tonnes. Now every care is taken in loading and staking them and providing the wagon with a mesh window to keep airflow in-tact. Banginapalli, Chinna Rasalu, Totapuri and Collector are the popular ones. This is one of the two dedicated mango loading stations in the country with other also being Andhra Pradesh – Vizianagaram, now under East Coast Railway.