The “Oxygen Express”, a special train carrying liquid medical oxygen made its first stoppage in Maharashtra’s Nagpur on Friday evening, ANI reported. The train which had left Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam on Thursday unloaded three tankers at Nagpur. Additional Municipal Commissioner Jalaj Sharma said that the district received 45 metric tonnes of oxygen from the three tankers.
Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted a video of the train arriving at the Nagpur station.
Earlier this week, the Centre had announced that the Indian Railways will run special trains to supply oxygen to states and Union Territories, as several of them are facing a shortage. The Centre has also decided to prohibit supply of oxygen for industrial purposes, in order to divert the stock for medical use.
Apart from Maharashtra, governments in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi have also requested the railways to transport oxygen tankers from various plants to their states, The Indian Express reported, quoting Railways Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Suneet Sharma.
Uttar Pradesh has asked for oxygen from the Bokaro steel plant and Jamnagar refinery in Gujarat, while Delhi has requested for the life-saving gas from the Rourkela plant in Odisha, Sharma said. Andhra Pradesh has sought transfer of oxygen from Angul in Odisha. The train that has reached Nagpur, will also deliver oxygen tankers in Nashik and other parts of Maharashtra.
On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked state governments to check hoarding and black marketing of oxygen and medicines. On Thursday too, he had asked states to “come down heavily” on those hoarding oxygen. On Thursday, for the third day in a row, major hospitals in Delhi nearly ran out of oxygen. Oxygen cylinders were looted in a Madhya Pradesh town on Wednesday, while Haryana and Delhi governments have traded charges over oxygen blockades.