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Oxygen Express trains help create buffer for Bengaluru

Despite repeated requests for details on the Oxygen Express, Commerce and Industries Commissioner Gunjan Krishna was not forthcoming with any information.

Published: 29th May 2021 05:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th May 2021 05:14 AM   |  A+A-

The sixteenth Oxygen Express from Rourkela, Odisha, enters Karnataka

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The 16th Oxygen Express for Karnataka chugged into the inland container depot at Whitefield on Friday, bearing 121.91 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen. Manish Moudgil, state nodal officer for oxygen distribution, told TNIE, “We send it wherever there is a critical need for oxygen. We have kept 150 mt as buffer for Bengaluru, where consumption is 850 mt per day. The buffer is utilised whenever a shortage arises. Steps are being taken to create a buffer in districts which have already met their needs.”

No one in the state government was able to give specific information on the exact quantity distributed to various districts or hospitals. 

State nodal officer for liquid medical oxygen, ADGP Pratap Reddy, said that all the oxygen supplied by rail was through private manufacturers. “The oxygen comes to a common point and is sent to refilling units whenever there is distress. It could be refilling units anywhere, including hospitals. The oxygen supplied to us through the Indian Navy comes free of cost, and is being sent to government hospitals across the state also without any charge,” he said. 

The state has so far received 1894.71 metric tonnes of oxygen through rail. Karnataka had requested the Railway Board on May 1 to facilitate supplies due to the oxygen shortage. Despite repeated requests for details on the Oxygen Express, Commerce and Industries Commissioner Gunjan Krishna was not forthcoming with any information. “I am very busy and cannot spend time on such small issues,” was her response. No official was able to give information on the cost of buying oxygen from private suppliers.



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