Northern Railways to provide Covid-care coaches in Delhi

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 18, 2021

National transporter to start moving oxygen along dedicated freight corridors

Northern Railways will make available Covid-19 care coaches in Delhi that can be used primarily for isolation and mild Covid-19 care cases. By Monday, 1200 beds will be made available, part of which has been stationed and made available at Shakurbasti station on Sunday.

Delhi has approached the Railways seeking Covid-19 bed facilities at Anand Vihar and Shakur Basti Railway Stations with full logistical support, requisite medical and paramedical staff and oxygen on an emergent basis, pointing out that “serious cases” are on the rise.

Fighting Summer heat

To beat the summer heat, the coaches are placed under shades, but cannot be sprinkled with water given the overhead electrical wire in the coaches, the Northern Railways General Manager Ashustosh Gangal said in a virtual presss meet on Sunday.

Also, ACs are not being deployed to ensure ventilation. Two oxygen cylinders will be provided per coach, but the State will have to arrange for oxygen.


Surging cases

Northern Railways is stationing 50 coaches at Shakurbasti and will station 25 coaches at Anand Vihar railway station, which were the preferred locations received from Delhi Government.

Meanwhile, the hospital capacity utilisation is running high in the Northern Railway Central Hospital in Delhi, prompting Northern Railways to put in place another 25 bedded smaller facility in Delhi.

Northern Railways has handed over its hospital in Lucknow to the local government under the Disaster Management Act with a condition that admission to railway employees will be prioritised, added Gangal.

Delhi’s demand

Delhi has also asked the Railways to identify more such facilities up to 5,000 beds, as was done last year, so as to meet huge demand of beds arising out of an ever-increasing surge in positive cases this time in National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi.

“There has been a tremendous increase of Covid-19 cases in Delhi in the recent past resulting in high number of serious Covid-19 cases requiring treatment in hospitals.

In GNCTD, as of now, the facilities at Government and private hospitals are getting strained and there is an urgent need for more number of Covid-19 bed facilities to cope up with ever increasing demand of Covid-19 patients who require admissions in hospitals. …,” Vijay Kumar Dev, Chief secretary, Delhi, wrote to Indian Railways Chairman and CEO Suneet Sharma. The Northern Railways is working towards making the facilities available.

Oxygen cylinders

In another move, the Indian Railways is getting ready to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders in Green Corridors for fast movement in trains termed Oxygen Express Trains.

After completion of technical trials, empty tankers would be moved from railway stations in and near Mumbai, and sent to Vizag and Jamshedpur or Rourkela or Bokaro, for loading of liquid medical oxygen tankers.

Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra State governments had approached the Ministry of Railways to explore whether LMO tankers could be moved by the Railways.

“Tentatively, a movement plan has been made for dispatching 10 empty tankers on April 19,” said a release.

Transport Secretary Maharashtra has assured that tankers would be provided by April 19.

Published on April 18, 2021

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