Railway divisions across the country are gearing to produce hand sanitisers for its staff who are working through the coronaviurus outbreak to ensure that they don't have to depend on market availability of the product, officials said on Wednesday.
First on the block is the Asansol division of Eastern Railway which has produced 500 litres of hand sanitiser for its workforce.
"There are labs in every loco shed, so we will produce such sanitisers in every division subsequently," said a senior official.
The sanitiser produced in the laboratory at the Andal Diesel Shed in Asansol, West Bengal consists of 760 ml of Iso propyl alcohol (99 per cent), hydrogen peroxide 42 ml (3 per cent), 15 ml of glycerin, 183 ml of distilled water and perfume.
"We have staff which is working even during this pandemic and we thought it was necessary that we secure them. We have produced about 500 litres and we have given this in small bottles to our staff. We are also trying to produce it at other places in the division," a spokesperson for ER told PTI.
The raw materials have been procured from Kolkata the official said and the cost of the sanitizer has been fixed at Rs 310 per litre although it is currently not for commercial use.
Taking a cue from Asansol, the Jodhpur division too has come out with 215 litres of hand sanitisers prepared by Diesel Locomotive Shed Bhagat ki Kothi and distributed to 13 different units of the division.
"To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, 500-litre sanitiser was built by the diesel shed at Asansol, West Bengal on the railway, ready for distribution. It has also been produced by other railway units," tweeted Railway Minister Piyush Goyal hailing the achievement.
The railways on Wednesday extended the suspension of all passenger trains till April 14, but said that its frieght operations to carry essential goods would continue.
The move came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement on Tuesday that the entire country would be on lockdown for 21 days in view of the spread of coronavirus.
Coronavirus cases in the country crossed 600 on Wednesday as authorities beefed up preparedness to fight the pandemic with a chain of hospitals of the army ordnance factories and central paramilitary forces earmarking over 2,000 beds for isolation and treatment of people affected by the disease.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)