Once Dismissed By Sceptics, Indian Railways' Oxygen Express Emerge As Key Part Of Medical Oxygen Supply Chain
Dismissed initially by sceptics as a suboptimal solution, transportation of liquid oxygen by Railways has emerged as an important part of the medical oxygen supply chain.
As India faced sudden upsurge in Covid-19 cases with some days recording even four lakh new cases per day, the demand for liquid medical oxygen (LMO) reached an unprecedented level with both production and transportation challenges.
Though many private and public sector companies coupled with imports from foreign countries helped in rapid scaling up of LMO production, its transportation from production centres to points of use remained a challenge with lives of thousands of Covid-19 patients at stake.
Here, Indian Railways played a crucial role in transporting LMO from industrial towns and ports to India’s mega cities where the demand for LMO is the highest.
The first "Oxygen Express" carrying seven empty tankers left from Kalamboli goods yard in Navi Mumbai on 19 April near Mumbai for Visakhapatnam.
So far, Indian Railways has delivered nearly 6260 MT of LMO in more than 396 tankers to various states across the country.
On 11 May alone, Oxygen Expresses delivered nearly 800 MT of LMO. 100 Oxygen Expresses have completed their journey so far and brought relief to various States.
“It is Indian Railways endeavour to deliver as much LMO as possible in the shortest time possible to the requesting states,” the Ministry of Railways said in a statement.
Till 12 May, 407 MT of LMO has been offloaded in Maharashtra, nearly 1680 MT in Uttar Pradesh, 360 MT in Madhya Pradesh, 939 MT in Haryana, 123 MT in Telangana, 40 MT in Rajasthan, 120 MT in Karnataka and more than 2404 MT in Delhi.
First Oxygen Express to Uttarakhand reached the state on 11 May with 120 MT of Oxygen from Tatanagar in Jharkhand. Also,Oxygen Express to Pune transported 55 MT of Oxygen from Angul (Odisha).
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