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Covid-19: ‘Oxygen Express’ comes to rescue of states facing shortage of supply

The Railways are running the trains from steel plants that produce oxygen to different parts of the country.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 24, 2021 5:16:33 pm
Tankers being transported using the Oxygen Express train. (Photo: Twitter/@RailMinIndia)

In the middle of the second wave of Covid-19, hospitals in India are facing a massive shortage of medical oxygen. In a bid to meet the high demand of the critical gas meant for the treatment of coronavirus patients, the Indian Railways has started “Oxygen Express” trains to ferry oxygen tankers from one region to another.

From Maharashtra to Uttar Pradesh, hospitals around the country are sending out frantic messages that they are running out of oxygen and urging the government to take urgent measures to increase the production and supply of oxygen. In the wake of the crisis, the Centre had recently allowed industrial oxygen to be diverted for medical use even as the Railways started ‘Oxygen Express’ to carry oxygen tankers through green corridors in a bid to ensure faster transportation.

The Railways are running the “Oxygen Express” train from steel plants that produce oxygen to different parts of the country.

Here’s a list of states where the Oxygen Express has been able to deliver oxygen

Maharashtra

The first Oxygen Express carrying seven tankers filled with liquid medical oxygen from Visakhapatnam reached Maharashtra on Friday (April 23). The train arrived at Nagpur at 8.10 pm, bringing relief to the state which is reeling under a surge in coronavirus cases and shortages of medical oxygen.

The train carrying the oxygen tankers pulled out from a facility run by Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) in Visakhapatnam on Thursday evening. Each tanker is carrying 15 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen. “A joint effort by Waltair Division of East Coast Railways, and officials of RINL made the project a success. This will prove to be highly beneficial during the recent upsurge in COVID-19,” the railways said in a statement on Thursday.

Uttar Pradesh

An Oxygen Express train carrying three tankers of liquid medical oxygen arrived in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday morning from Bokaro in Jharkhand. “Two trucks of medical oxygen arrived in Lucknow around 6.30 am while one truck was offloaded in Varanasi. Each truck has a capacity of containing 15,000 litres of medical oxygen,” Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi said.

He added, “The arrival of two trucks of medical oxygen will meet around half the demand of Lucknow for Saturday. The state capital will now be in a better position.”

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