Oxygen Express Rolls Out From Gujarat Amid Adverse Weather Conditions

by Arun Kumar Das - May 19, 2021 10:24 AM +05:30 IST
Oxygen Express Rolls Out From Gujarat Amid Adverse Weather ConditionsAn oxygen express carrying a tanker. (representative image)
  • Carrying more than 65 MT of emergency medical aid, the oxygen express would travel 1,854 km from Rajkot to Guntur.

Defying Cyclone Taukate, first oxygen express started from Gujarat to Andhra Pradesh at 6.25pm on Tuesday even as the severe weather persists.

With a load of more than 65 metric tonne (MT) of emergency medical aid, the oxygen express with four tankers would travel a distance of 1,854 km from Reliance Rail Siding, Kanalus in Rajkot and reach Guntur.

Previously, oxygen expresses to Andhra were operating from eastern India.

So far, Indian Railways has delivered more than 11,030 MT of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) in more than 675 tankers to 13 states across the country.

Criss-crossing the country, the railways is picking up oxygen from places like Hapa and Mundra in the West and Rourkela, Durgapur, Tatanagar, Angul in the East and then delivering it to states of Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in complex operational route planning scenarios.

Until now, 521 MT of oxygen has been offloaded in Maharashtra, nearly 2,858 MT in UP, 476 MT in MP, 1,427 MT in Haryana, 565 MT in Telangana, 40 MT in Rajasthan, 480 MT in Karnataka, 200 MT in Uttarakhand, 350 MT in Tamil Nadu, 81 MT in Punjab, 118 MT in Kerala and nearly 3,794 MT in Delhi.

In order to ensure that oxygen relief reaches in the fastest time possible, the railways is creating new standards and unprecedented benchmarks in running of oxygen express freight trains.

The average speed of these critical freight trains is way above 55 KMPH in most cases over long distances. Running on high priority green corridor, with the highest sense of urgency, operational teams of various zones are working round-the-clock in the most challenging circumstances to ensure that oxygen reaches in the fastest possible time frame.

Technical stoppages have been reduced to one minute for crew changes over different sections.

The railways has mapped different routes with oxygen supply locations and keeps itself ready with any emerging need of the states. States provide tankers to the railways for bringing LMO.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.

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