Guwahati, Aug 10 – The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) will start a Roll-On Roll-Off (RoRo) service to carry trucks loaded with fuel on flat-wagon goods train from Thursday to help Tripura tide over the fuel crisis.
NFR Chief Public Relations Officer P.J. Sharma announced this on Wednesday and added that 30 DBKM (flat bedded) wagons, each with a capacity to carry two loaded trucks, will be placed at Bhanga, near Tripura border, in the first lot.
Fuel tanker trucks will be loaded on these by means of an end-loading ramp. The tankers will be securely fixed on the wagon floor to ensure safety during movement. The first such goods train will leave Bhanga, near Badarpur, at 11 a.m. on Thursday and will reach Churaibari in Tripura, covering a distance of 44 km, Sharma said.
The development took place after the state government on August 1 this year requested Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to help the state tide over the fuel crisis using the railway.
The RoRo service was necessitated as the road connecting Tripura with Assam had been in very poor shape, creating serious bottleneck in transportation of commodities including fuel into Tripura, triggering serious fuel crisis in the state.
The RoRo scheme introduced by the railways will help the loaded trucks to piggyback on goods train to bypass the damaged national highway near Churaibari. This will bring much relief to the common man in Tripura, Sharma said.
The RoRo service was first introduced by Konkan Railway in 1999 and it is being introduced in NFR for the first time. Although military movements have been done in the past on flat wagons, this is for the first time that commercial goods movement is being done by RoRo mode.
Sharma said that the road condition in remote areas often gets affected during inclement weather in the northeast and RoRo will prove to be a novel means to help continue supply lines in times of crisis.
The service is designed to provide connectivity to loaded road vehicles where road connectivity is poor or does not exist. This service is economical, helps in reducing carbon emission and reduces traffic on roads.