The first “Oxygen Express” carrying seven empty tankers left from near Mumbai on Monday for Visakhapatnam, where they will be loaded with liquid oxygen for transportation to Maharashtra, the Central Railway (CR) said.
According to a Central Railway release, the Ro-Ro (roll-on-roll-off) train with seven empty tankers left for the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant from Kalamboli goods yard in Navi Mumbai, about 40km from state capital Mumbai, at 8:05 pm.
At the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, the tankers will be loaded with liquid medical oxygen and brought to Maharashtra, which is facing a shortage of the life-saving gas needed for treatment of critical COVID-19 patients, the release said.
“Railways is running its first Oxygen Express in its fight against COVID-19. The Ro-Ro service with 7 empty tankers departed from Kalamboli, Maharashtra for Vizag today. Oxygen Express will move via a green corridor for loading with Liquid Medical Oxygen,” Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.
The CR’s Mumbai Division built a ramp within 24 hours at Kalamboli goods yard to facilitate loading and unloading of tankers in and from flat wagons, the release said.
According to sources, Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab was present when the train left for the port city in Andhra Pradesh.
On Sunday, the Railways had announced it will run the “Oxygen Express” over the next few days to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders across the country.
Under the initiative, empty tankers will be loaded with liquid medical oxygen from Visakhapatnam, Jamshedpur, Rourkela and Bokaro for supply all over the country, officials had said.
Amid spiralling coronavirus cases in the country, the demand for medical oxygen in the country has gone through the roof.