Indian Railways Shifts 680 Tons of Oxygen From Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand

The Indian Railways has actively been in the process of moving almost 680 tons of oxygen stationed in the coastal states of Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand, in anticipation of damage from Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Yaas. Cyclone Yaas is slated to hit the Odisha coast near Balasore on May 26 and is then expected to move north-northwestwards to Jharkhand, beyond which it will slowly dissipate.

“Oxygen Expresses moved 680 tonnes of oxygen relief from Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand in the last 12 hours before the cyclone gets stronger. Eight Oxygen Expresses have moved from the region,” a statement from the Railways said.

Amidst the second wave of Covid-19, liquid medical grade oxygen has become a precious commodity. Many such facilities that produce medical grade oxygen are based in these states. Hence, the Centre is not willing to take a risk on such a crucial commodity and has arranged for the storage of liquid oxygen in other states not directly in the path of the cyclone.

The Railways has played a pioneering role in the movement of oxygen from manufacturing sites to different states across the country. Special trains by the name of ‘Oxygen Express’ have been commenced to look after such distribution work. So far, the Railways has delivered more than 17,239 tonnes of LMO in more than 1,042 tankers to 14 states since it started operations last month.

At its outset, the Oxygen Express trains started their deliveries thirty-one days ago on April 24 in Maharashtra, with a load of 126 tonnes. In most cases, the trains run with an average speed greater than 55 kmph. Technical stops have been minimised to only permit time for crew change after long distances.

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