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When DFCCIL set up a ‘help corridor’ to fight Covid-19

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Lives before business: The company set up an oxygen bank for employees and vendors, upgraded hospital to serve train pilots and guards

NEW DELHI : Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) has put in place an oxygen concentrator bank that can be used by its own staff, employees of its contractors, and technical consultants engaged in implementing the mega rail project.

The concentrator bank, which started with just four oxygen concentrators procured from Doha in April, helped three-four patients tide over an initial two-three days with home treatment till they got a hospital bed for treatment of Covid-19. This was shared  by Ravindra Kumar Jain, Managing Director, DFCCIL.

The freight corridors, funded by JICA and World Bank will connect Delhi with Western ports — JN Port, Mundra, Pipavav — and Howrah in the East.

Cargo by rail set for big leap

Confidence booster

DFCCIL is also installing an oxygen plant of 500 litre per minute capacity in the Northern Railway hospital for which it was assisted by Tata Sons, the promoter company of Tata Projects, which is also involved in constructing the project.

DFCCIL is also offering tele medicine facilities for workers at its sites.

Making available such facilities was a confidence booster for employees in terms of making them feel that some support is available, added Jain.

Now, DFCCIL has put in place a bank of 14 oxygen concentrators that can be used by either its own employees or staff of its vendors, including Siemens, GMR, Ircon and Hitachi, among others. In the National Capital Region, the concentrators were available for supporting about 2,600 people (DFCCIL has 400-500 employees, vendors have about 2,000 people, and there are 200 technical staff). “We pooled our resources….We started with four oxygen concentrators at a time our officials were not getting any hospital bed. The concentrators were procured in the last week of April,” Jain told BusinessLine.

Plan for new cargo terminals along DFC

In fact, Jain, as the head of organisation, had to approve procurement of the pricey concentrator equipment from Doha. “Our officials faced challenges to get hospital admission. DFCCIL was ready to pay any amount to buy a concentrator, but nothing was available within India…..there were no commitments on time of delivery,” he said.

That was when one of DFCCIL’s officials used personal resources to procure the concentrators and get these units from Doha. The concentrators were of great help as some DFCCIL’s officials and their family members in the National Capital Region were on concentrators for two-three days for treatment at home till they got hospital admission. “Now, concentrators in DFCCIL’s bank can be transported to places of need,” said Jain.

Hospital facility at Phulera upgraded

Moreover, the company upgraded the hospital facility at Phulera railway station, a location that is important in the railways ecosystem as it is an interchange station for a large number of train pilots and guards and the equipment was also put to use there to provide immediate healthcare facilities till people could be taken to nearby bigger cities like Jaipur. “At Phulera, we have put in place a set of pre-ICU hospital equipment (cylinder, oximeter, concentrator) among others,” he said.

‘Savings lives comes first’

“Also, the freight corridor work has slowed down due to second wave of Covid that led to work from home and stoppage of works. Construction activities are undertaken primarily in summer. But prioritising ‘saving lives’ was important. Many workers went back home. Those that were left, we put them together at large, cordoned off sites for work and made available tele-medicine facilities (also called bio-bubble). Now, some workers have started returning. But with monsoon setting in over Gujarat and Maharashtra, work will be hit. We are trying to work out a scheme to increase the cash flow of vendors to incentivise them to work,” Jain said.

Source : The Hindu Business Line

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