Between 19 April 2021, when the first Indian Railways' Oxygen Express train rolled, and Monday, the national transporter has delivered 16,023 tonnes of LMO in more than 977 tankers aboard 247 trains.
Over the last four days, Indian Railways’ deliveries of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu have spiked. Oxygen Express trains, crisscrossing the country to transport oxygen for COVID-19 positive patients, delivered their highest-ever single-day load of more than 1,142 tonnes of LMO on Sunday, beating the previous record of 1,118 tonnes of oxygen, which was set on May 20. Between 19 April 2021, when the first Indian Railways’ Oxygen Express train rolled, and Monday, the national transporter has delivered 16,023 tonnes of LMO in more than 977 tankers aboard 247 trains, according to an IE report.
Since the beginning of the second covid wave, from delivering emergency items to Mumbai and Delhi, the Oxygen Express trains have reached 15 states over the past month. More than half the total supply of LMO- 8,249 tonnes of oxygen- has been delivered to Delhi and Uttar Pradesh until Monday. On Saturday, the state of Assam received 80 tonnes of LMO on a single rake of Oxygen Express.
Recently, the biggest spike in supply of LMO has been seen in the state of Andhra Pradesh, which had received a cumulative 292 tonnes of oxygen until 20 May 2021. On Monday, this LMO figure had jumped to 730 tonnes, an increase of 150%. Until Monday, the state of Tamil Nadu had received 1,024 tonnes of oxygen, a 75% increase since Thursday. Until Thursday, Karnataka had received 1,063 tonnes of oxygen, a 66% increase over receipts of 640 tonnes of LMO. Until Thursday, Telangana had received 772 tonnes and that number had increased by 26% to 976 tonnes by the end of Monday. Kerala, where there is no major shortage of oxygen, had received six tankers carrying 118 tonnes of LMO until Thursday. After our days, that figure was 246 tonnes, a 108% increase.
A senior government official involved in the operation was quoted in the report saying that since the active covid case load in southern states has been increasing, stretching the capacity of oxygen plants in that part of the country, the government has diverted a lot of oxygen to these states.
While the first Indian Railways’ Oxygen Express train had carried supplies of oxygen to Mumbai from the Visakhapatnam steel plant last month, the state of Maharashtra has so far required just 614 tonnes of LMO. Between 27 April 2021 and Monday, the national capital had received 4,600 tonnes of LMO; an increase of 17% since Thursday. UP with 3,649 tonnes of LMO is the second state in terms of volumes of gas received. By Monday, the state of Haryana had received 1,759 tonnes, up 17% since Thursday. The bulk of the oxygen, over the past one month, has come to these three states, the report added.