Wed, 12 May 2021

New Delhi [India], April 18 (ANI): As some states are facing scarcity of medical oxygen amid surging COVID-19 cases in the country, the Railways is getting ready to transport Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) and oxygen cylinders across the key corridors.

A meeting was held between Railway Board officials and State Transport Commissioners along with representatives of industry on the "issues related to transportation of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO)" on Saturday.

As per a release by the Ministry of Railways, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra state governments had approached the Ministry of Railways to explore whether LMO tankers could be moved by the railways.

"Thereafter, LMO's technical feasibility of transportation was explored and it was concluded that it has to be transported through Roll On Roll Off (RO-RO) service with road tankers placed on flat wagons," it said.

Due to restrictions of height of Road Over Bridges (ROBs) and Over Head Equipment (OHE) at certain locations, out of the various specifications of road tankers, the model of road tanker T 1618 with height of 3320 mm was found feasible to be placed on flat wagons (DBKM) with height of 1290 mm.

"Trials were conducted at various locations. In order to enable commercial booking and freight payment for RO RO movement of LMO in cryogenic tankers, the Ministry of Railways has brought out a circular on April 16, providing all the necessary details and guidance on the matter, post which the meeting was held," the release said.

In the meeting, it was decided that the tankers would be organized by Transport Commissioner, Maharashtra. These empty tankers would be moved from Kalamboli/Boisar railway stations in and near Mumbai and sent to Vizag and Jamshedpur/Rourkela/Bokaro for loading of LMO tankers.

In pursuance of this decision, instructions have been issued to Zonal Railways to ensure readiness to receive the trailers and load them back. Ramps have to be built at Vizag, Angul and Bhilai and the existing ramp at Kalamboli is to be strengthened. The Kalamboli ramp would be made ready by April 19. Ramps at other locations would also be ready in a couple of days by the time the tankers reach those locations, according to the ministry.

On April 18, a trial was organised at Boisar (Western Railway) where a loaded tanker was placed on a flat DBKM and all the required measurements were taken.

Railways have already placed DBKM wagons at Kalamboli and at other locations in expectation of movement of tankers to various locations.

Tentatively a movement plan has been made for dispatching 10 empty tankers on April 19. Transport Secretary Maharashtra has assured to provide the tankers by Monday. (ANI)

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