Telangana ropes in IAF freighters to ferry oxygen from Odisha

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Hyderabad, April 23 (PTI): In view of the pressing requirement of medical oxygen, Telangana government has hired two cargo aircraft of the Indian Air Force to ferry eight empty tankers to Odisha to bring liquid oxygen, Health Minister Etela Rajender said on Friday.

The oxygen are to be brought from the steel plants in Rourkela and Angul, Odisha.

The two C-17 aircraft had left for Odisha from Begumpet Airport and the empty tankers would be filled with liquid oxygen and return here by road thus saving three days of journey time, he said.

People's lives are precious. As per the instructions of the Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, we hired two defence aircraft to send oxygen tankers to Odisha which will bring oxygen to Telangana by road. Each flight carries four empty tankers, Rajender said.

He said there is no shortage of oxygen in any government hospitals, though there may be scarcity in one or two in private hospitals.

An official press release from the state government said Rajender along with the Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and other officials were present at the Begumpet airport to oversee the airlifting operations.

The aircaft, deployed for the purpose, were commanded by Wing Commander Chaitanya and Wing Commander Nijhawan, the release said.

With the airlifting of tankers, the travel time is reduced by three days and would also go a long way in seeing that shortage of oxygen for COVID-19 patients would be overcome for at least a few days, the release further said.

The filled tankers are expected to return to the state by April 27, another release said. PTI GDK NVG NVG