COVID Crisis: Railways To Run ‘Oxygen Express’; LMO To Be Loaded From Odisha’s Rourkela
New Delhi: As shortage of oxygen supply has hit treatment of COVID-19 patients in several states, Indian Railways is set to play its part.
The ministry of Railways said in a statement on Sunday that they will operate ‘Oxygen Express’ trains for the transport of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) and oxygen cylinders. LMO will be loaded from Odisha’s Rourkela, among other cities.
Having explored the feasibility of transportation of LMO tankers, on the request of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra governments, the ministry said that a green corridor is being created to ensure swift movement of ‘Oxygen Express’ trains, after the completion of technical trials.
“Empty tankers would be moved from Kalamboli and Boisar railway stations in and near Mumbai, and sent to Vizag, Jamshedpur, Rourkela and Bokaro for loading of liquid medical oxygen tankers,” the Railways said.
“The Government has exempted all inter-state movement of oxygen tankers from registration of permits to enable easier movement. PM was informed that states and transporters have been asked to ensure tankers move round the clock with drivers working in shifts to ensure faster turnaround and adequate capacity to meet the surge in demand,” the Prime Minister’s office said.
Cylinder filling plants will be permitted to operate 24 hours, with necessary safeguards.
The government has also allowed industrial cylinders to be used for medical oxygen. “Similarly nitrogen and argon tankers will be automatically allowed to be converted to oxygen tankers to overcome the potential shortage of tankers,” the PMO statement added.