Mumbai: Indian Navy brings 40 MT oxygen to Mumbai from Qatar

Indian Naval Ship Trikand on Monday brought 40 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen here from Qatar amid the ongoing battle against COVID-19 pandemic.

According to an official statement, the consignment carried is part of the French mission 'Oxygen Solidarity Bridge' to support India's fight against the pandemic.

This was the maiden voyage of trans-shipping of French Air Liquide containers from Qatar to India, it said.

As part of Operation Samudra Setu II, Indian Naval Ship Trikand was deployed to augment shipment of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) cryogenic containers from Hamad Port, Qatar to Mumbai, the statement said.

"The ship entered Qatar on 5th May 21 and arrived at Mumbai on 10th May 21 with 40 MT Liquid Oxygen," it said.

The Indo-French initiative, facilitated by Ambassador of India in Qatar Dr Deepak Mittal, is likely to result in shipping of over 600 MT LMO to India over the next two months, the statement said.

The first consignment was handed over to Maharashtra state authorities, it said.

Maharashtra Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray and Consul General of France in Mumbai Sonia Barbry were present on the occasion.

"As the unloading of LMO tanks of @airliquidegroup began in Mumbai early this morning, I visited INS Trikand to thank @FranceBombay for it's hand of friendship in times of pandemic. I also thanked the @indiannavy for it's crucial support to this mission. Merci Beaucoup," Thackeray tweeted later.

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar was also present to welcome INS Trikand with the LMO tanks, Thackeray said.

The Navy said it has stepped up its efforts as ships from all three naval commands in Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Kochi were deployed to bring oxygen and other medical equipment under operation 'Samudra Setu II'.

Last year, the Navy had launched Operation Samudra Setu as part of the Vande Bharat evacuation mission under which it brought back to India around 4,000 stranded Indians from Maldives, Sri Lanka and Iran.

As India battles a devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries have sent medical supplies including oxygen-related equipment to help it tide over the situation.

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