The Ministry of Railways operates India’s national railways, the Indian Railways. The railways have been the most used transportation mode in India as it can serve every pocket. The train journeys become the most enjoyable memories in people’s life. But now in the wake of coronavirus where travel services are harsh hit and got nothing to hold their grounds. But railways didn’t choose to step back and proved to be a helping hand in this worsening situation.
In coordination with State governments and Ministers, Indian Railway is all set to face the new challenge to protect from COVID-19 to its front-line medical workers and other operational staff people. To upgrade the facilities, the Indian Railway is using all its resources in a balanced and coordinated manner.
A challenging task to manufacture sanitizers, cots, masks, and PPE coveralls within the house was taken by the Indian Railway. Field units produced the raw material for manufacturing these items. By 24th of June, 2020 that is the lately gone by Wednesday Indian Railway was able to manufacture 66.4 kl sanitizer, 7.33 lakh masks, 1.91 lakh PPE gowns, and more. 1.5 lakh PPE coveralls were the target of June and July and that is likely to be revised upwards now. Distribution of raw material, manufactured products, and centralized procurement throughout the railway during the lockdown was a very difficult task to accomplish.
For manufacturing PPE coverall gowns, Northern Railway was nominated for centralized procurement of raw materials required for the same and that was indeed a critical component with due respect to quality. All applicable quality standards have been gratified by all the in-house manufactured products. To empower the preparedness of Railway, Northern Railway centrally placed an order on M/s HLL Life Care for meeting the requirements of all Railway Units. The order was:
|hand sanitizers (500ml)||2.25 lakhs|
|N95 masks||2.25 lakhs|
|PPE coverall||22 lakhs|
Fifty Railway Hospitals have been designated as COVID Dedicated Heath Centres and as COVID Dedicated Hospitals by the Ministry of Railways. To fight against the coronavirus, the acquisition of medical equipment and other items has been done to upgrade the facilities in these hospitals.
The conversion of 5231 Railway coaches into isolation coaches as COVID Care Centers to treat corona-sufferers was a commendable step. This big move helped to increase the capacity of health infrastructure in the nation. Based on the requests received from the States, 960 coaches have been placed in service at several locations. Guidelines have been issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to conduct proper management of suspected or confirmed cases on Railway coaches.
Railways Operations and Management did not get affected in the wake of the COVID pandemic because of the availability of stocks in their depots and lower scale operations. Support is provided to the out vendors to maintain their supply chain. Field units have been issued mandatory instructions in the same regard. The railway is permitted to continue its required acquisition through the digital supply chain and the arrangement of material required for pandemic management could be done.
May this huge contribution by Indian railways pay off the nation….