Northeast Frontier Railway has started transportation of rubber sheets and products as a new stream of goods traffic from Tripura to various destinations. Substantial production of rubber sheets takes place in Tripura. More than 90,000 tonnes of rubber is produced annually in Tripura which is having about 87000 hectares of rubber plantation.
Tripura exported more than 53000 tonnes of rubber during the financial year 2020-21 to places like Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Delhi. Transportation normally takes place through road sector. As part of the BDU initiative of the Lumding division of Northeast Frontier Railway Road shows were conducted at different locations of Tripura in co-operation with the state government. Interactions with rubber traders were held. Rubber is mainly produced in West Tripura, South Tripura and Sipahijala districts of Tripura which are served by railway stations like Sabroom, Belonia, Udaipur, Agartala and Jirania. Rubber traders were informed that they can easily transport rubber from their nearest convenient railway station at a much cheaper rate in comparison to road sector. For example; cost of transportation of per tonne of rubber by railway from Jirania to Delhi, Jalandhar and Sealdah is Rs. 2492.80, Rs. 2342.60 and Rs. 1745.90 respectively. In comparison, the cost of transportation of per tonne by road for the same distance is Rs. 4500.00, Rs. 5500.00 and Rs. 3500.00. Low cost of transportation will also result in overall cheaper availability of products to the end customer as transport costs reduce. Northeast Frontier Railway hopes that with the starting of rubber sheet and product transportation through railways, rubber growers as well as transporters of the area will stand benefitted. It will also help in import substitution and growth of local economy.