First ‘Oxygen Express’ takes off from Mumbai to get medical oxygen from Vizag
Indian Railways’ Oxygen Express, with seven empty tankers loaded on a roll-on-roll-off (Ro-Ro) train, left Navi Mumbai’s Kalamboli Goods Yard on Monday for Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh where it will be loaded with liquid medical oxygen for Maharashtra.
“The Ro-Ro service with seven empty tankers departed from Kalamboli goods yard for Visakhapatnam steel plant siding at 8.05 pm today. This train will move via Vasai Road, Jalgaon, Nagpur, Raipur Jn to Visakhapatnam steel plant siding in ECoR zone where it will be loaded with liquid medical oxygen,” the railways said.
The Indian Railways will deploy the first of its kind ‘Oxygen Express’ trains over the next few days to transport Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) and oxygen cylinders in bulk along key corridors, amid high demand from states grappling with the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
With several states reporting a shortage of medical oxygen, the government on Friday directed them to ensure uninterrupted movement of medical oxygen-carrying vehicles along their borders and said they must not impose any curb on production and supply of the essential public health commodity anywhere.
The railway ministry on Friday approved transportation of liquid medical oxygen in cryogenic tankers under its Ro-Ro model as a special case following a request from the Maharashtra government.
Tentatively, a movement plan was made for dispatching 10 empty tankers on Monday, the railway ministry said, adding that the transport secretary, Maharashtra, has assured to provide the tankers.
A meeting was held between Railway Board officials and state transport commissioners and representatives of the industry on April 17 on issues related to transportation of liquid medical oxygen.
“Instructions have been issued to zonal railways to ensure readiness to receive the trailers and load them. Ramps have to be built at Vizag, Angul and Bhilai and the existing ramp at Kalamboli is to be strengthened.