On Saturday, the railways formulated guidelines to allow transportation of liquid medical oxygen in cryogenic tankers after the Maharashtra government and Madhya Pradesh made a request to meet the shortage of the gas used for Covid-19 patients in the state.

As India is dealing with the unprecedented crisis of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Indian railways are gearing up to run special “Oxygen Express” trains to transport liquid medical oxygen (LMO) and oxygen cylinders across the country over the next few days. “Availability of oxygen is a key element in the treatment of certain medical conditions in the Covid infection,” it said in the official announcement.

On Saturday, the railways formulated guidelines to allow transportation of liquid medical oxygen in cryogenic tankers after the Maharashtra government and Madhya Pradesh made a request to meet the shortage of the gas used for Covid-19 patients in the state.

Here’s everything you need to know about the special initiative of Indian Railways:

* The liquid medical oxygen will be transported via roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) service with road tankers placed on flat wagons to various destinations.

* On April 17, a meeting was held between Railway board officials, state transport commissioners and representatives of industry regarding the issues related to the transportation of LMO. It was decided that the tankers will be organised by the transport commissioner of Maharashtra. These empty tankers will then be moved from Kalamboli and Boisar, Railway stations in Mumbai, and sent to Vizag station in Andhra Pradesh and Jamshedpur, Rourkela and Bokaro in Jharkhand for loading of liquid medical oxygen tankers.

* Empty tankers will begin their journey from Kalamboli and Boisar railway stations in and near Mumbai on Monday to load liquid medical oxygen Vizag, Jamshedpur, Rourkela and Bokaro, officials said.

* It has also created a green corridor at the railway stations for the fast movement of the train. Ramps at other locations would also be ready in a couple of days by the time the tankers reach those locations.

* To ensure that parameters of transportation are tested, the railways have already organised trials at various locations. “DBKM wagon was placed at Kalamboli goods shed in Mumbai on 15.04.2021 and a T-1618 tanker loaded with LMO was also brought here. Joint measurements were taken by representatives of Industry and Railways,” it informed in the release.

* Many states including Maharashtra, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh have said they are facing a severe shortage of medical oxygen as the Covid-19 pandemic is tightening its grip over the nation. Earlier this week, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray sought the Centre’s assistance in oxygen supply as he said that there was a shortage of medical oxygen in the state.

* Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also wrote to the Centre asking to ramp up oxygen supply as he highlighted that the situation is deteriorating every passing second.

Source: Hindustan Times