Indian Railways runs first Oxygen Express with Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) tankers from Visakhapatnam to Mumbai

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Indian Railway is running Oxygen Express in response to its fight against Covid-19. First Oxygen Express with Liquid Medical Oxygen(LMO) tankers is going to start its journey for Mumbai from Visakhapatnam tonight. Tankers filled with LMO at Visakhapatnam are being transported through Ro-Ro service of Indian Railways.

  • Another Oxygen Express started its journey from Lucknow to Bokaro via Varanasi to fulfil the requirements of Medical Oxygen in Uttar Pradesh. 
  • For the movement of the train, a green corridor was created between Lucknow to Varanasi. 
  • The distance of 270 Km was covered by the train in 4 hours 20 minutes with an average speed of 62.35 kmph.
  • Transportation of Oxygen through Trains is faster over long distances than road transport. 
  • Trains can run 24 hours in a day but a truck drivers need to take halts etc.
  • It may please be noted that to facilitate loading/unloading of tankers in/from flat wagons, a ramp is required. 
  • Also, due to restrictions of height of Road Over Bridges (ROBs) and Over Head Equipment (OHE) at certain locations, out of the various specifications of road tankers, the model of road tanker T 1618 with height of 3320 mm was found feasible to be placed on flat wagons (DBKM) with height of 1290 mm.
  • Railways transported essential commodities and kept the supply chain intact even during the lockdown last year and continue to serve the Nation in times of emergencies.

Meeting held on the Issues related to transportation of Liquid Medical Oxygen:

  • On 17.04.2021 April, a meeting was held between Railway Board officials and with State Transport Commissioners and representatives of industry on the subject of “Issues related to transportation of Liquid Medical Oxygen.
  • It was decided that the tankers would be organized by the Transport Commissioner, Maharashtra.
  • These empty tankers would be moved from Kalamboli/Boisar, Railway stations in and near Mumbai, and sent to Vizag and Jamshedpur/Rourkela/Bokaro, for loading of liquid medical oxygen tankers from there  .
  • In pursuance of the above decision, instructions have been issued to Zonal Railways to ensure readiness to receive the trailers and load them back.
  • On 18.04.2021 a trial was organised at Boisar (Western Railway) where a loaded tanker was placed on a flat DBKM and all the required measurements were taken.
  • Railways have already placed DBKM wagons at Kalamboli and at other locations in expectation of movement of tankers to various locations.
  • Zonal Railways have been informed regarding the demands from State Governments.
  • CFTMs and PCOMs are in touch with the Industry and State Governments.
  • Railway Board has directed concerned GMs to be fully prepared and proactively assist the State and Central Government Agencies in movement of Oxygen by Rail and has also nominated ED/TT/F as Nodal Officer in Railway Board.

Safety Measures:

Meanwhile, Indian Railways is taking various measures to contain the spread of the resurgence of Covid-19 pandemic, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Home Affairs from time to time. One of the specific guidelines is to wear a face mask/cover in order to contain the spread of the pandemic.

  • The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for movement of trains as brought out by IR on 11.05.2020 in para 2.3 (ix) says that “it should be advised to all passengers that they shall be wearing face cover/mask at entry and during travel”.
  • In this connection, attention is invited to Commercial Circular no. 76 of 2012 dated 14.12.2012 regarding enforcement of Indian Railways (Penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at railway premises) Rules 2012 vide Gazette Notification No. GSR 846 (E) dt. 26.11.2012 Vide para 3 (1) (b) of the said Gazette Notification.
  • It has interalia been enlisted under Prohibition of activities affecting cleanliness and hygiene in the railway persons that no Person shall spit in any railway premises except in such facilities or conveniences specifically provided for any of these purposes.
  • In view of the Covid-19 situation, controlling spitting and act of similar nature due to any person not wearing a mask and entering Railway premises (including trains) is important to avoid creation of unclean/unhygienic conditions which may cause danger to life/public health.
  • Accordingly, to prevent spitting and act of similar nature and thus to ensure wearing of face masks/face cover by all persons at railway premises (including trains), fines (upto Rs. 500) under Indian Railways (Penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at Railway Premises) Rules 2012 shall be imposed by railway officials authorized for the purpose from persons not wearing face mask/cover in Railway premises (including trains).

Source: PIB-Press Release | Image Credit: MoR

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