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COVID-19: First 'Oxygen Express' departs Mumbai; set to return with liquid oxygen from Vizag

08:51 AM Apr 20, 2021 | ANI

The first 'Oxygen Express' departed from Central Railway's Kalamboli yard on Monday evening to ferry liquid oxygen for Maharashtra from Vishakhapatnam steel plant in Andhra Pradesh amid the worsening COVID-19 situation.

In a statement, the ministry of railways informed that the Mumbai Division built a ramp overnight within 24 hours at Kalamboli goods yard to facilitate loading/unloading of tankers in/from flat wagons.

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"The Ro-Ro (roll-on, roll-off) service with seven empty tankers departed from Kalamboli goods yard for Visakhapatnam steel plant siding at 8.05 pm on Monday." This train will move via Vasai Road, Jalgaon, Nagpur, Raipur Junction to Visakhapatnam steel plant siding in the ECoR zone where it will be loaded with Liquid Medical Oxygen.

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On Sunday, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, in an interview with ANI, had informed that the central government was creating a green corridor for fast movement of 'Oxygen Express' trains to facilities for the smooth transport of oxygen to states.

"A decision has been taken to start transportation of oxygen cylinders or tankers in trains. The transportation of cylinders has already started. Green corridors will be introduced to ensure a fast supply of oxygen where these trains can reach their destination at a high speed," Goyal had said.

"For the transportation of liquid oxygen, military wagons will be used to transport 3.3 meter high tankers. These trains will not be stopped so that they can reach their destination at a fast speed," he added.

The worsening COVID-19 situation has seen a surge in the demand for medical oxygen and beds for the COVID-19 patients and many states are reporting a shortage in essential medical supplies.

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