Hindustan Times (East UP)

Oxygen Express to reach Lko on Sat

- Oliver Fredrick oliver.fredrick@hindustant­imes.com

THE OXYGEN EXPRESS LEFT LUCKNOW ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND WILL REACH BOKARO AND GET THE OXYGEN CHAMBERS FILLED ON THURSDAY NIGHT.

LUCKNOW : The Oxygen Express – the oxygen-loaded train— is expected to reach the state capital on Saturday, carrying around 60,000 litres of liquid medical oxygen (LMO). Officials with Northern Railways (NR) said that they are expecting more such trains in the near future that will mitigate the ‘oxygen crisis’ that has emerged following the sudden spike in demand of LMO.

The initiative is part of the UP government’s move under which it had approached the Railways to help them out in bringing LMO from Jharkhand, Bengal and Odisha in order to meet the increased demand of LMO in the state, especially in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad.

Sanjay Tripathi, divisional railway manager (DRM), NR Lucknow, who is tracking the train’s movement, said that the train is expected to leave Bokaro, Jharkhand, tomorrow. “Since it’s around 805km run from Bokaro to Lucknow, the train with an average speed of 63 km per hour—that is double the speed of a truck—will take around 16 hours to cover. Hence, the train loaded with LMO is expected to reach Lucknow by Saturday,” said Tripathi.

The Oxygen Express left Lucknow on Wednesday night and will reach Bokaro and get the oxygen chambers filled on Thursday night. As soon as this process is completed, the train will commence its return journey, the DRM added.

Initially, there were plans to send around seven empty oxygen chambers to Bokaro. However, despite several trials and following technical glitches, only three oxygen chambers could be sent.

Officials said that roughly one chamber has a capacity of around 20,000 litres.

“Currently, only three oxygen chambers could be sent. However, in later phases more such trains could be run to Bokaro and other plants to fetch oxygen,” he added.

The entire exercise is being carried out under strict supervisio­n of additional chief secretary (ACS) home, transport department and the food safety and drug administra­tion (FSDA).

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