The biggest single-day delivery of 205 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen is expected to be made in Delhi tomorrow morning when an Oxygen Express arrives in the city. Another one of the trains, dedicated to ensuring emergency supplies of the vital gas across the country, is expected to arrive this evening itself with a little over 30 tonnes.
The earlier train, which set off from Angul in Odisha at 11 am yesterday to Delhi Cantonment with two tankers carrying 30.86 tonnes of oxygen, has passed Palwal station in Haryana. It is expected to arrive at its destination around 6pm today after completing an almost 30-hour journey, the release said.
Up to 120 tonnes more are on the way to the city, while another 85 tonnes meant for the city will be delivered in Gurugram by a train coming from Hapa, Gujarat.
Some 20 Oxygen Express trains have till now delivered approximately 1,125 tonnes of oxygen in 76 tankers. Seven others are now enroute to Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, and Delhi, carrying 422 tonnes in 27 tankers.
Haryana is, in fact, set to receive its fourth and fifth Oxygen Express trains, with nearly 72 tonnes of oxygen from Angul and Rourkela in Odisha.
The Oxygen Express trains have been flagged off by Indian Railways in response to the major shortage of the gas across the country that followed the second wave of the COVID-19 crisis. With hospitals getting swamped with patients, the country's medical system is under pressure as far medical resources go. Besides oxygen, hospital beds, drugs, and vaccines, too, are running out.
Such is the situation that scores of patients have died in the past many days across the country due to hospitals' inability to provide timely oxygen.
The Delhi High Court on Saturday ordered the Centre to ensure that the national capital received its quota of oxygen by tonight.