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In a major boost to supply chains across the country, Indian Railways has introduced ‘Setu’ to ensure unhindered services of time-tabled parcel trains for nationwide transportation of essential commodities and other goods. ‘Setu’, which was launched on Sunday, has a round-the-clock all-India helpline number — 8448848477. It facilitated the delivery of 30 tonnes of items within just 24 hours of its launch.

Before this, 58 routes (109 trains) for Special Parcel Trains had been notified since the start of the lockdown. Till 5th April 2020, 27 routes were notified, out of which, 17 routes were regular, scheduled services, while the remaining were for single trips only. Subsequently, 40 new routes have been identified and notified (and frequency of some of the previous routes has been increased). With this, almost all the important cities of India will get connected for the transportation of vital goods at a very fast speed. With the launch of Setu, these services will be further scaled up.

Time-tabled parcel trains are planned as per the demand of the customers. These trains connect vital corridors of the country viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru. In addition, proper connectivity has also been ensured to Guwahati, to ensure supplies in the North-eastern region of the country. Other important cities connected via these trains are Bhopal, Allahabad, Dehradun, Varanasi, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Ranchi, Gorakhpur, Thiruvananthapuram, Salem, Warangal, Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam, Rourkela, Bilaspur, Bhusawal, Tatanagar, Jaipur, Jhansi, Agra, Nasik, Nagpur, Akola, Jalgaon, Surat, Pune, Raipur, Patna, Asansol, Kanpur, Jaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Gwalior, Mathura, Nellore, Jabalpur, etc. 

Indian Railways has also been running other parcel trains as per the demand of customers during this period - which include:

a) ‘Milk Specials’ from Palanpur (Gujarat) to Palwal (near Delhi), and from Renigunta (AP) to Delhi
b) Milk products from Kankariya (Gujarat) to Kanpur (UP) and Sankrail (near Kolkata)
c) Food products from Moga (Punjab) to Changsari (Assam)
Indian Railways is ensuring seamless transportation of medical items on a priority basis during the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19. Indian Railways continues to deliver medicines, masks, hospital items and other medical commodities through its timetabled parcel services to strengthen the government’s efforts in managing the challenges and adverse impacts of coronavirus pandemic in the country. 

As on 18 April 2020, Indian Railways has transported 1,150 tonnes of medical items in various parts of the country. The zone-wise details of transportation of medical goods are as under: 

Over 20,400 tonnes of consignments have been loaded since the start in the lockdown period while the earnings are worth about INR 7.54 crores. 


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