Railways Rushes 70 MT Of Oxygen To Delhi From Raigarh Amid Severe Crisis

by Arun Kumar Das - Apr 26, 2021 10:15 AM +05:30 IST
Railways Rushes 70 MT Of Oxygen To Delhi From Raigarh Amid Severe CrisisAn oxygen express.
  • Besides, the national transporter is continuing with passenger and freight services, ensuring the movement of goods and passengers unhindered.

As the country is battling the scourge of the second wave of Covid-19, Indian Railways has embarked upon a mission to deliver medical liquid oxygen to several crisis-hit states, while deploying a no-holds barred approach by re-mobilising its initiative of Covid Care Isolation Coaches.

Addressing the crisis, the Railways is to deliver more than 140 MT of liquid oxygen in the next 24 hours at various locations while one Oxygen Express carrying 70 MT of LMO was en-route to Delhi on Sunday night.

Besides, the national transporter is continuing with passenger and freight services, ensuring the movement of goods and passengers unhindered.

"Wherever there is a requirement, we will run passenger trains as much as possible and wherever there is no demand, we are trying to rationalise the services as we are constantly monitoring the situation," Chairman, Railway Board, Suneet Sharma said in a virtual presser.

He said no state has approached the Railways to cancel passenger trains yet.

The Railways has also informed the Delhi government to obtain road tankers. Indian Railways is also ready for the movement of oxygen containers on container wagons from Durgapur to Delhi.

The public transporter is going to deliver more than 140 MT of liquid oxygen in the next 24 hours. Currently, nine tankers are already en route, out of which five reached Lucknow by Sunday night and the remaining four which have already started from Bokaro are expected to reach Lucknow on Monday.

So far, Oxygen Express services have been run between Mumbai and Vizag through Nagpur and Nashik and Lucknow to Bokaro and back.

A total of 10 containers having nearly 150 tonnes of liquid oxygen have been carried so far.

In order to deliver more liquid medical oxygen to Maharashtra, the Railways has planned to transport oxygen from Jamnagar to Mumbai and for Nagpur/Pune from Vizag/Angul.

The Railways has mapped the route from Angul to Secunderabad to deliver LMO for Telangana.

For the state of Andhra Pradesh, the Railways has planned to transport LMO from Angul to Vijayawada.

For Madhya Pradesh, Indian Railway has mapped the route from Jamshedpur to Jabalpur for the LMO transportation.

Liquid oxygen being a cryogenic cargo has many limitations like maximum speed at which it can be carried, maximum acceleration and deceleration and loading restrictions like availability of liquid oxygen tankers and loading ramps etc.

Route mapping also takes care of the maximum clearances available along the route because of various RUBs and FOBs.

As a measure of preparedness, Covid Care coaches have been readied to serve as additional health care facilities for isolation of Covid patients with mild symptoms.

These coaches have now been additionally fitted with conveniences including coolers, and jute-mats to cater to the current hot weather conditions.

In this regard, the State governments have been advised on the Modalities and Standard Operating Procedures in place and the availability of Covid Care Coaches.

Nearly 4,000 Covid Care Coaches with 64,000 beds have been positioned at various railway stations in the country, some of which have already served the isolation needs of patients in the first wave of Covid.

In Delhi, 50 coaches with 800 beds are deployed at Shakurbasti station and four patients are currently admitted and 25 coaches with 400 beds are made available at Anand Vihar Terminal.

At Nandurbar in Maharashtra, 21 coaches with 378 beds are positioned and currently 55 patients are admitted at this facility.

At Bhopal station, 20 coaches have been positioned. 50 Coaches have been readied for deployment in Punjab and 20 coaches positioned for deployment in Jabalpur.

On demand of State governments, these isolation centres will cater to needs of patients with mild and moderate symptoms as directed to these facilities by State Health Authorities.

The Railways takes all efforts to provide catering arrangements to these patients and maintain hygiene in these coaches.

The State governments’ utilisation of the Isolation Coaches will be made available through updates from time to time.

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

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