When senior officers asked Gireesh C, a loco pilot, to operate the first
At sharp 7.05 am, the train – with six cryogenic containers carrying medical oxygen – arrived at the station from Tatanagar in Jamshedupur (Jharkhand). The Bengaluru divison took over the train in Jollarpettai station at 7.05 am. Gireesh, the man behind the operations, brought the train to Whitefield sharp at 8.52 am, clocking more than 80-kmph. He is extremely happy.
As signal-free green corridor was created all along the route, the train covered a total distance of 1,883 km in just 29 hours and 22 minutes. Officials said similar arrangements are being made to bring 120-160 tonnes of oxygen twice or thrice a week to Karnataka from the northern parts of India.
“I had stayed overnight at the railway facility in Jolarpettai station after operating a good’s train from Whitefield. At 5 am, I was told to take over the operations of Oxygen Express. I felt honoured as it was a life-saving mission and the immense faith showed by senior officers that I can do the job well,” Gireesh, a father to two daughters, said.
Since it was a first experience for the South Western Railway (SWR), officials were anxious too. “We were closely monitoring the real-time movement of the train throughout the night. Besides the regular staff, we had deployed six personnel from the railway police force (
The SWR officials are more confident now. “Unloading
It’s learnt that a private agency was roped in by the government to transport these oxygen containers to different hospitals.
Gunjan Krishna, Commissioner for
‘Let State keep its O2’
The State Government has once again renewed its demand with the Centre to allocate all the oxygen produced in the State for the State’s needs. Health Minister Dr K