Guwahati, May 23, 2021, IANS
The first O2 (Oxygen) Express train for the northeastern region carrying 80 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) arrived at the Inland Container Depot at Amingaon in Guwahati on Sunday.
Receiving the area's first O2 (Oxygen) Express, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that such trains carrying LMO would come twice in each week to Assam delivering 160 MT of oxygen and subsequently, this would be distributed among other northeastern states as per their need.
Northeast Frontier Railway's Chief Public Relations Officer Subhanan Chanda said that the first O2 (Oxygen) Express left Jharkhand's Tatanagar on Saturday and arrived at Amingaon on Sunday as the railway created a green corridor for its movement.
The Oxygen Express covered a distance of 630 km from West Bengal's Malda Town to Amingaon in around nine hours, with an average speed more than 70 kmph which is more than the average speed of Rajdhani Express trains. "In order to ensure that oxygen relief reaches in the fastest time possible, Railways is creating new standards and unprecedented benchmarks in running of Oxygen Express freight trains. With the highest sense of urgency, operational teams of various zones are working round the clock in most challenging circumstances to ensure that Oxygen reaches in fastest possible time frame," he said.
Sarma also expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allocating additional medical oxygen to the state and other northeastern states through Oxygen Express which would greatly help in meeting the increasing oxygen requirement. He also thanked Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
"Apart from fulfilling the state's own requirement, Assam would supply surplus oxygen to other northeastern states of Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Tripura," he said.
"There is a surge in the demand of oxygen and this would help us in meeting the rising demand. There is improvement in the Covid situation and by next week things would further improve in Assam."
The Chief Minister also told the media that the Assam government is making all out efforts to ramp up daily vaccination from the current 50,000 people to one lakh per day.