New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) The Indian Railways has geared up production units to supply sanitisers to help the country fight Covid-19.
According to Railway Ministry officials, the railways diesel shed at Asansol in West Bengal and the diesel locomotive shed at Jodhpur in Rajasthan have produced over 700 liters of sanitisers in the past few days.
The diesel locomotive shed at Andal in Asansol has prepared 500 litres of sanitisers and has been packed in bottles of different sizes for supply. The diesel locomotive shed at Bhagat ki Kothi in Jodhpur prepared 215 litres of sanitisers, which was distributed to 13 railways units of the Jodhpur division.
The Southern Railways has also produced sanitisers, masks and aprons for the medical usage. The electric loco sheds at Erode and Arakkonam and the diesel loco shed at Ernakulam, Perambur loco works, Golden rock workshop and Perambur Carriage and Wagon work workshops were preparing masks, sanitisers and aprons, said a Southern Railway spokesperson.
Hand sanitisers at the Perambur Loco Works were being produced for use at the railway offices and hospitals, he said and added, the materials used into making it were isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerol and distilled water.
"Initially, 5 litres have been prepared. Similarly, Golden Rock Workshop at Tiruchirappalli has produced 10 litres of hand sanitisers. The average cost is Rs 570 a litre, which is a lot cheaper than what's sold in the market," the Southern Railway official said.
The Golden Rock workshop has also handed over ingredients to the medical department for producing hand sanitisers in its lab. It will soon be making 60 medical cots, as required by the medical branch.
The Perambur Carriage works had taken the initiative of making 250 masks, he said. Of this, 100 masks have been provided to the Chennai Division for use by goods trains running staff and 150 masks handed over to the railway hospital in Perambur.
These masks have been made of white cotton cloth and is of single layer with elastic ear band, which can be reused after thorough washing.
"It has also produced 45 aprons and handed them over to the railway hospital in Perambur," he said and added, it would produce 50 medical cots in 10 days, using the material available at the workshop.
The Southern Railways official said the electric locoshed at Erode had produced 200 litres of hand sanitisers for use in offices and hospitals in the jurisdiction of the Salem Division.
Even electric loco shed at Arakkonam, diesel loco shed at Ernakulam and the medical branch of the Trivandrum division have contributed hand sanitisers for internal use.
Following the suspension of passenger services from March 23 to March 21, the railways has shut production units and has taken up the task of preparing hospital beds, IV stands and other medical equipment required by hospitals.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a three-week countrywide lockdown, the railways has suspended passenger trains till April 14 and has stopped booking on IRCTC, its online platform.
However, the goods trains have been pressed into services to ensure adequate supply of essential goods across the country.