The second Oxygen Express, loaded with 60,000 litres of liquid medical oxygen (LMO), reached Charbagh Railway Station in Lucknow on Monday to meet a shortage of the life-saving gas in hospitals treating severe Covid-19 patients across Uttar Pradesh.
The train, loaded with four oxygen tankers, each 15,000 litres in capacity, had left Bokaro in Jharkhand at around 2 p.m. on Sunday, said officials.
Two of the four tankers to have arrived on the Indian Railways’ second Roll-On-Roll-Off (RORO) service, immediately left for Jhansi and Bareilly (one tanker for each destination) while the remaining two were stationed in Lucknow to meet the increased oxygen demand in the state capital.
The first RORO Oxygen Express, loaded with 30,000 litres of LMO, had arrived in the state on Saturday, said Sanjay Tripathi, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Lucknow, Northern Railways.
One more Oxygen Express, loaded with 75,000 litres of the life-saving gas is expected to arrive in the state on Tuesday as part of state government’s Operation Oxygen, he added.
Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh said the Central government had allocated 753 metric tonnes of oxygen for the state.
Uttar Pradesh reported 35,614 fresh Covid-19 cases and 208 deaths. Lucknow alone logged 5,187 fresh Covid-19 cases and 14 more deaths on Sunday, pushing up the death toll in the city to 1,654.
Railways’ RORO service has also procured oxygen for Maharashtra and its services have also been requested by other states that are severely hit by Covid-19’s second wave.
Detailing the intricacies of the operation, Railways said in a statement: “Liquid oxygen, being a cryogenic cargo, has many limitations like maximum speed at which it can be carried, maximum acceleration and deceleration and loading restrictions like availability of liquid oxygen tankers and loading ramps. Route mapping also takes care of the maximum clearances available along the route.”