O2 on the move: Tankers camp at Delhi Transport Corporation’s IP Depot | Delhi News

NEW DELHI: Among scores of green- and blue-coloured low-floor buses of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) parked at its Indraprastha depot, eight white oxygen cryogenic tankers stand apart. The spanking new vehicles have been sought following the devastating second wave of Covid-19 last year to avoid a crisis in the future.
When the capital was gasping for breath during the second wave, bringing liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to Delhi from other states proved to be a big challenge due to the shortage of oxygen cryogenic tankers. As part of its preparations for a third wave and a similar crisis, the Delhi government planned to create a fleet of tankers of its own, as part of the exercise to ramp up oxygen generation and storage facilities in the national capital.
DTC, the city’s oldest public transport lifeline, was entrusted with the responsibility of procuring 15 tankers mounted on 10-, 15-, and 20-tonne-capacity chassis from qualified manufacturers and suppliers. While DTC now has a fleet of eight tankers, sources said operating oxygen tankers was not part of its core competence and it had written to the health department to suggest a scheme for the same.
As per a presentation made by the health department in the meeting of Delhi Disaster Management Authority on September 22, 12 tankers are to be procured by DTC and the remaining by private entities through subsidy by the industries department. It said DTC might operate its eight tankers on an outsourcing basis.
Even as it awaits four more tankers, sources said DTC wanted the health department to suggest a scheme on how to engage private operators with expertise in transporting LMO. The Delhi government did not respond to queries regarding any plan it might have come up with on how these oxygen tankers would be operated.
Apart from the tankers, DTC has played an important role in the government’s battle against the spread of Covid-19, which ranged from providing transportation of deputed personnel on emergency duties to converting its control room into an oxygen war room during the second wave. The procurement of the tankers for the national capital was approved by DTC in its board resolution in December last year.
Unlike the previous wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the second wave during the last leg of April and the first part of May 2021 saw an exponential increase in the number of cases, positivity rate ands fatalities. Also, unlike the previous wave, many patients complained of dip in oxygen saturation levels.


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