smooth supply of medical oxygen to hospitals for treatment of
COVID-19 patients across the country, the Odisha government on
Wednesday imposed the Essential Services (Maintenance) Act,
1988, prohibiting possible strikes by service providers.
The Home Department in an order said, it will remain
in force for six months, an official said.
"In the interest of public, it is necessary to
prohibit strikes in the services of manufacturing, filling and
transportation /distribution of liquid medical oxygen during
the current COVID-19 pandemic situation for the purpose of
ensuring smooth manufacture, filling and transportation /
distribution of liquid medical oxygen in the state of Odisha
and to avoid any hindrance/dislocation in such services," the
At least 112 tankers containing 2,112 metric tonnes of
liquid medical oxygen have been sent to eight states from
Odisha so far, ADG (law and order) of Odisha Police YK Jethwa
Odisha''s response came soon after Chief MInister
Naveen Patnaik had spoken to Prime Minister Narenra Modi and
some of his counterparts and offered them help.
Odisha has been sending cryogenic oxygen tankers to
neighbouring Andhra Pradesh (38), Telangana (27), Tamil Nadu
(2), Haryana (8), Maharashtra (6), Madhya Pradesh (17),
Chhattisgarh (5), and Uttar Pradesh (9) as these states are
grappling with acute shortage of the gas for the treatment of
coronavirus patients, Jethwa, who is supervising the supply,
The highest number of 47 oxygen tankers have been
moved from Rourkela, followed by Jajpur (33), Angul (18), and
Dhenkanal (14), the official said.
Jethwa said, arrangements have been made to fill empty
cylinders and a special corridor has been formed for the
smooth movement of the oxygen tankers.
Meanwhile, East Coast Railway (ECoR) said that Oxygen
Express trains have so far transported 510 MT of oxygen to
Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, and Madhya Pradesh.
The Haryana government has also requested the Railways
for Oxygen Express trains.
Currently, tankers are being loaded in Faridabad,
which will be sent for filling to Rourkela.
As of now, it is being planned that two Oxygen Express
trains with five tankers each will be run specifically for
Haryana, an official of the ECoR said.
Madhya Pradesh received its first Oxygen Express
carrying more than 64 MT of liquid medical oxygen on Wednesday
These tankers were unloaded at various locations in
Madhya Pradesh like Jabalpur (1 tanker), Bhopal (2 tankers),
and Sagar (3 tankers), officials said. PTI COR AAM