Amid surge in Covid-19 cases, Oxygen Express to chug into Vizag

Tankers heading towards Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) from Maharashtra on Tuesday. Medical  oxygen will be transported through the tankers.
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Tankers heading towards Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) from Maharashtra on Tuesday. Medical oxygen will be transported through the tankers.

Highlights

  • Steel Plant is playing a crucial role in reaching out to Covid-19 patients through supply of oxygen
  • Green corridor Ro-Ro service is chugging into Visakhapatnam to carry oxygen to Maharashtra
  • This is the first time the Indian Railways is supplying medical oxygen to other parts of the country, points out Kashalendra Kishore Khadanga, CPRO of East Coast Railway

Visakhapatnam: At a time when the Ukku stir is garnering nationwide attention, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) is playing a crucial role in reaching out to Covid-19 patients through the supply of oxygen.

After completing the technical trials, empty tankers of green corridor Ro-Ro (roll on roll off) service are all set to chug into Visakhapatnam from Maharashtra on Tuesday night.

The Oxygen Express, comprising 10 empty tankers, is all set to reach Visakhapatnam Steel Plant at midnight.

Each tanker has a capacity of loading 15 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen (LMO). "However, they will be filled with 12 tonnes of LMO each. From the starting point to the destination, there are no stops for the Oxygen Express in between. However, the speed limit for the express has been set at 40 km per hour. This is the first time the Indian Railways is supplying medical oxygen to other parts of the country," says Kashalendra Kishore Khadanga, CPRO of East Coast Railway.

Passing through Vasai Road, Jalgaon, Nagpur and Raipur junction, the Oxygen Express will reach Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, situated in East Coast Railway zone before it gets loaded with liquid medical oxygen.

Apart from a few suppliers providing oxygen to the hospitals in Visakhapatnam, a separate oxygen plant with a capacity of 3,000 tonnes of oxygen per day produced at five units of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited is catering to LMO needs. But at present, 2,500 tonnes of oxygen is being produced at RINL, serving the needs of the organisation as well as other areas where the oxygen is required.

As an adequate quantum of oxygen is the need of the hour to treat Covid-19 patients, making oxygen accessible plays a key role at a time when the daily Covid-19 caseload continues to witness an upsurge.

With Indian Railways chipping in times of dire need, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant is also contributing to supplying life-saving medical oxygen to other parts of the country.

Though the transportation cost turns out to be an expensive affair, the government decided to reach out to the States through Oxygen Express to meet the growing demand of the LMO as RO-RO service can reach respective destinations early and safely.

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