New Delhi, May 25 (PTI) Indian Railways moved 680 tonnes of oxygen from Odisha, West Bengal, and Jharkhand in the last 12 hours in anticipation of Cyclone Yaas which is likely to hit the region soon, the national transporter said on Tuesday.
Severe cyclonic storm Yaas is likely to make landfall near Dhamra Port in Odisha's Bhadrak district early Wednesday morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
“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.
The country's major liquid medical oxygen (LMO) generation plants are based in this region and are now proving to be the source of the life-saving gas for other states for supply to hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Providing relief to oxygen starved states, so far, 263 Oxygen Express trains have completed their journey while two more loaded trains with more than 134 tonnes of LMO in eight tankers are currently on the run.
Amongst the southern states, delivery of LMO to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana crossed 1,000 tonnes each via the Oxygen Express trains.
Oxygen relief by Oxygen Express trains reached out to 14 states -- 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 tonnes of oxygen has been offloaded in Maharashtra, nearly 3,649 tonnes in Uttar Pradesh, 633 tonnes in Madhya Pradesh, 4,820 tonnes in Delhi, 1,911 tonnes in Haryana, 98 tonnes in Rajasthan, 1,421 tonnes in Karnataka, 320 tonnes in Uttarakhand, 1,099 tonnes in Tamil Nadu, 886 tonnes in Andhra Pradesh, 225 tonnes in Punjab, 246 tonnes in Kerala, 1,029 tonnes in Telangana, and 80 tonnes in Assam.
Railways has mapped different routes with oxygen supply locations and keeps itself ready with any emerging need of the states, the statement said. States provide tankers to the Indian Railways for bringing LMO, it added.
Oxygen Express trains started their deliveries 31 days ago on April 24 in Maharashtra with a load of 126 tonnes.
Criss-crossing the country, Indian Railways is picking up oxygen from places like Hapa , Baroda, Mundra in the West and Rourkela, Durgapur, Tatanagar, Angul in the East and then delivering it to states of Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Assam in complex operational route planning scenarios.
The average speed of these critical freight trains is above 55 kmph in most cases over long distances. Technical stoppages have been reduced to a minute for crew changes over different sections. PTI ASG RHL