Special ‘Oxygen Express’ Trains to run through Green Corridors for Transport of Liquid Medical Oxygen


GUWAHATI: In view of the recent surge of COVID19 cases in India, the requirement of oxygen for effective clinical treatment of COVID patients has also witnessed a manifold hike. There have been reports of shortage of medical oxygen from some States and UTs. To keep up with the supply the Railways Ministry is gearing up to transport Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) and Oxygen Cylinders across the key Corridors, and to run OXYGEN Express. To facilitate easy and smooth transport of oxygen across the country, a Green Corridor is being created for fast movement of Oxygen Express Trains. This will ensure supply of medical oxygen in bulk and rapidly to patients.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has conveyed that this has already reached about 60 percent of the total daily Oxygen production, and is expected to rise further, said a government press release.

Several immediate and timely measures have been taken in the recent days by the Government of India to address the issue of adequate availability of medical oxygen across the country. While every effort is being made to meet the rising demand for medical oxygen, including augmenting daily production and stocks and States/UTs are taking appropriate steps for optimum and rationalized utilisation of available stock of oxygen, the present trend necessitates additional measures.

The Government of India has been regularly monitoring and ensuring smooth supply of essential medical equipment including medical oxygen to the affected states and addressing challenges that arise from time to time. The Empowered Group-II (EG-II) headed by Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT) is mandated by Govt. of India to manage requisite supplies of medical equipment, drugs including medical oxygen across the country.

In another significant decision taken by the Union Government today, the supply of Oxygen for industrial purposes by manufacturers and suppliers is prohibited forthwith from 22.04.2021 till further orders. The matter was deliberated by the DPIIT with all the stakeholders and after due deliberations, it was considered prudent to restrict the industrial usage of oxygen to meet the rising demand for medical oxygen. The surplus oxygen available up as a result of this temporary restriction will facilitate its freeing up for use as medical oxygen for treatment of COVID19 patients.