On a request from UP govt, second ‘Oxygen Express’ to run to Lucknow
Facing acute shortage of oxygen supply due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases, more states are seeking assistance from the Railways for delivering Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) via ‘Oxygen Express’ trains with Uttar Pradesh becomes the third state to demand the facility after Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
The second ‘Oxygen Express’ carrying around seven to eight empty tankers will leave from Lucknow on Wednesday night to fill up liquid medical oxygen from Bokaro, Jharkhand.
“Request Letter for Transportation of LMO from Rourkela, Bokaro to Bhopal has been given today at 13.00 hours by MP Government. They have asked for commercial & unloading point details. Reply for the same is being given today itself. Thereafter, planning of movement shall be done. The second Oxygen Special carrying around 7-8 empty tankers to Bokaro and back will start tonight from Lucknow. Many more are planned in the coming days,” a railway ministry spokesperson said.
The Indian Railways will deploy first-of-a-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 the Covid 19 infection.
With several states reporting a shortage of 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 curbs on production and supply of the essential public health commodity anywhere.
The first Oxygen Express with seven tankers loaded on a Roll on Roll off train left Kalamboli Goods Yard in Navi Mumbai on Monday for Vizag where it will be loaded with liquid medical oxygen for Maharashtra. The train is scheduled to reach Vizag on Wednesday night before taking off for Mumbai, officials said.
A meeting was held between Railway Board officials and state transport commissioners and representatives of the industry on April 17 on issues related to the transportation of liquid medical oxygen.
The railway ministry on Friday approved the transportation of liquid medical oxygen in cryogenic tankers under its Roll on-Roll off model as a special case following a request from the Maharashtra government.