Railways: Cargo movement picks up pace, over 10,000 t of O2 moved to 13 States

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 17, 2021

Spruces up medical infrastructure at its hospitals

Cyclone Tauktae has so far not affected Indian Railways’ oxygen transportation and sufficient precautions are in place, said the Railways. Its trains have transported over 10,000 tonnes of oxygen across 13 States as on date.

Railway Board Chairman and CEO Suneet Sharma said in a virtual conference here on Monday, since the start of oxygen transportation from April 24 to Maharashtra, it has now scaled up to about 800 tonnes a day to various locations and will soon be transporting 1,000 tonnes.

Almost 4.32 lakh railway men have been vaccinated against Covid, said Sharma. Indian Railways has about 11-12 lakh employees. .

Cargo loading

The Railways has seen a sharp growth in cargo movement against the same time last year when the nation was under a Covid-19 prompted national lockdown.

Data on loading of major commodities shows that this year loading of coal is up 54 per cent over last year; iron ore is up 88 per cent, pig iron and finished steel has more than doubled; cement and clinker is up 261 per cent and container movement is up 38 per cent. Railways moves 1,200 rakes across the country every day, has seen some challenges in freight movement during the ongoing localised lockdowns but these are “transient”, said the CRB adding some containment zones pose a challenge to labour availability for loading and unloading.

As for the Oxygen tankers, 266 Oxygen Express have completed journey moving 626 full tankers and 1,089 tonnes of LMO.

Medical facilities

The national transporter which has lost 2,000 lives to Covid till a few days back, is sprucing up its medical infrastructure capacity. “We now have 6,972 Covid beds against 2,539 beds last year, there are 573 ICU beds against 273 ICU beds last year, and Railways has set up four oxygen generating plants in its hospitals and 50 more sanctioned.,” said the CRB, adding that daily monitoring is being done at Board and Zone level to motivate the staff.

Published on May 17, 2021

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