Indian Railways runs Oxygen Express

The Ministry of Railways recently announced that it is to create a Green Corridor to ensure fast movement of Oxygen Express trains. These Oxygen Express trains are to be operated to help the country handle the issue of shortage of oxygen.

What is the plan?

The Indian Railways is to move empty tankers from Boisar and Kalamboli railway stations. They are located near Mumbai. These tankers are to be sent to Jamshedpur, Vizag, Bokaro and Rourkela to load medical oxygen.

Background

Due to the COVID-19 double mutant variant, the number of COVID-19 infections began to increase in the country. With this, India became the second most COVID-19 infected country in the world after USA. And this led to the increase in oxygen demand.

Other GoI measures

  • The Government of India is to set up 162 Oxygen plants in thirty-two states. The funds to establish hundred of these centres are to be provided through PM CARES Fund.
  • Over one lakh oxygen cylinders are to be procured.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs recently announced that India is to import 50,000 tonnes of oxygen.
  • The Union Government has exempted the interstate movement of oxygen tankers from registration of permits. This will enable easier movement of the tankers in the country.
  • The Oxygen filling plants have been permitted to operate twenty four hours.
  • The Central Government has also permitted the use of industrial oxygen cylinders to be used as medical oxygen after due purging. Purging is removing an unwanted quality.
  • The Nitrogen and Argon tankers have been allowed to be converted into oxygen tankers to overcome the shortage of tankers.
  • Twelve states that are facing high shortage of oxygen supply have been identified.

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