‘Oxygen Express’ arrives in Thoothukudi

‘Oxygen Express’ reached Milavittan station in Thoothukudi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: N. RAJESH

Even as the southern districts are virtually gasping for medical-grade oxygen to save the COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment in the government and government medical college hospitals, an ‘Oxygen Express’ of Indian Railways with five tankers arrived here from Odhisha’s Rourkela on Monday evening.

Ministers Thangam Thennarasu, Anita R. Radhakrishnan and Geetha Jeevan, MP Kanimozhi, Collector K. Senthil Raj and Superintendent of Police S. Jayakumar received the ‘Oxygen Express’ that reached Meelavittaan station on Thoothukudi outskirts at 4 p.m.

The 78.82 tonnes of medical-grade oxygen received in five tankers was shared among the government medical college hospitals in Thoothukudi (7.28 tonnes), Tirunelveli (15.18 tonne), Tenkasi (1.50 tonne), Kanniyakumari (13,38 tonnes) Madurai (14.98 tonnes), Sivaganga (5.50 tonnes) and Theni (6 tonnes) districts.

The remaining 15 tonnes of the life-saving gas was given to private oxygen suppliers, who are supplying it to private hospitals where COVID-19 patients have been admitted.

Though the original destination of this ‘Oxygen Express’ was Thiruvallur district, Mr. Thennarasu, considering the adverse situation emerging in the southern districts after Sterlite Copper’s oxygen plant let them down, discussed the issue with Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to ensure the diversion of the train to Thoothukudi.

“While Sterlite Copper’s oxygen plant will start generating oxygen within a couple of days, steps are being taken on a war footing to ensue oxygen generation in the plants which are not in operation now. We are extending all possible help to these inoperative plants to ensure early generation,” Mr. Thennarasu said.

Sources in Sterlite Copper said their oxygen plant was expected to load the first tanker after the repairing work on Wednesday afternoon.

“Moreover, overhauling of the second oxygen plant is also going on to ensure early production of the gas,” said the sources.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 9:30:51 PM |

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