New Delhi [India], May 22 (ANI): As the need for transportation of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) increased after the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on Saturday asked the states and union territories to create a pool of trained drivers with adequate training, having a "hazardous cargo" license.
500 such drivers are to be made available immediately, and the number of drivers is to be increased to 2,500 in the next two months.
"As per extant rules and in consonance with the CMVR, 1989, only trained drivers with adequate training and having 'hazardous cargo' license are allowed to operate the Liquid Oxygen (LOX) trucks. Therefore, there is an urgent need to make available a large pool of trained drivers who can supplement or replace the existing drivers, keeping in mind 24x7 operations", read a release by the ministry.
As a part of a strategy which may be adopted to create an additional pool, the ministry suggested that driver should be skilled quickly with training in handling hazardous chemicals and LMO handling through a short program and apprenticeship, and to skill the HMV license holders in hazardous chemicals and the LMO handling through short (3/4 days) program and apprenticeship.
"These training modules have been designed with the help of the Logistics Sector Skill Council (LSSC), Indian Chemical Council (ICC), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), and medical oxygen manufacturers," the ministry said
The ministry has also requested the states and UTs to recommend some local drivers with HMV/ hazardous chemical licenses to opt for these training programs.
"Also, a list of all the skilled drivers would be made available on a digital platform and the services of these trained drivers could be utilized for carrying cryogenic LMO tankers," it said.
It has also been advised by the ministry that LOX tanker drivers may be facilitated with a special COVID vaccination drive, and be given a priority in admission and treatment in hospitals, in case they are found COVID infected. (ANI)