Indian Railways have moved eight Oxygen Express trains loaded with 680 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen from Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand on May 25 just before Cyclone Yaas slams the region, according to an official statement.
These trains have moved out of the region at high speed to deliver oxygen for Covid-19 patients in various states after which the railways has been forced to stop operations due to the approaching cyclone which is expected to strike the eastern coast at a speed of 150 to 160 km an hour.
Indian Railways has been ferrying oxygen from steel plants in Orissa, West Bengal and Jharkhand to other parts of the country including the northern states and Delhi.
Overcoming all hurdles and finding new solutions, Indian Railways is continuing its journey of bringing relief by delivering Liquid Medical Oxygen(LMO) to various states across the country. So far, Indian Railways has delivered more than 17239 metric tonnes (MT) of liquid medical oxygen in more than 1042 tankers to various states across the country, the Railway Ministry statement said.
As many as 263 Oxygen Expresses have completed their journey so far and brought relief to various States.
Two loaded Oxygen Expresses on run with more than 134 MT of LMO in 8 tankers.
Amongst the Southern States, delivery of LMO to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana crossed 1000 MT each.
It is Indian Railways endeavour to deliver as much LMO as possible in the shortest time possible to the requesting states.
Oxygen relief by Oxygen Expresses reached 14 states namely Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Assam.
Till the time of this release, 614 MT of Oxygen has been offloaded in Maharashtra, nearly 3649 MT in Uttar Pradesh, 633 MT in Madhya Pradesh, 4820 MT in Delhi, 1911 MT in Haryana, 98 MT in Rajasthan, 1421 MT in Karnataka, 320 MT in Uttarakhand, 1099 MT in Tamil Nadu, 886 MT in Andhra Pradesh, 225 MT in Punjab, 246 MT in Kerala, 1029 MT in Telangana and 80 MT in Assam.
Railways has mapped different routes with Oxygen supply locations and keeps itself ready with any emerging need of the States. States provide tankers to the Indian Railways for bringing LMO.
Oxygen Expresses started their deliveries 31 days back on 24th April in Maharashtra with a load of 126 MT.
In order to ensure that oxygen relief reaches in the fastest time possible, Railways is creating new standards and unprecedented benchmarks in running of Oxygen Express freight trains. The average speed of these critical Freight trains is way above 55 in most cases over long distances. Running on high priority Green Corridor, with a highest sense of urgency, operational teams of various zones are working round the clock in the most challenging circumstances to ensure that Oxygen reaches in the fastest possible time frame. Technical stoppages have been reduced to 1 minute for crew changes over different sections.
Tracks are kept open and high alertness is maintained to ensure that Oxygen Express keeps zipping through.