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Last-mile Delivery: Centre's Medical Cargo Delivery Initiative Soars High

Transportation of medical cargo under the Lifeline Udan scheme has been soaring high as the outreach is happening to remotest places in India.


Transportation of medical cargo under the Lifeline Udan scheme has been soaring high as the outreach is happening to remotest places in India. Starting with less number of flights to soaring of around 161 flights for over 200 tonnes of medical cargo is a huge leap forward. With the support from Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private airlines like Indigo, SpiceJet, medical supplies of at least 239  tons have been delivered to date during the lockdown period. 

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An official of the Ministry of civil aviation narrated how the forward planning takes place to identify places of requirement, "MoCA holds CHINTAN meeting at 8 am daily to review planning of the day and progress of the previous day. Further, at 3 pm daily, MANTHAN meeting is held to review the execution of the day's planning and check if any modification is required at any stage. In this meeting, forward planning is also done to assess the requirement and distribution of resources."

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Cargo Hubs created at Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai receive the maximum supply of enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits & PPE, masks, gloves & other accessories of HLL. In turn, the supply is then distributed to spokes, that is, other areas in the respective states. So far Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Agartala, Aizwal, Dimapur, Imphal, Jorhat, Lengpui, Mysuru, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Trivandrum, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Ranchi, Srinagar, Port Blair, Patna, Cochin, Vijaywada, Ahmedabad, Jammu, Kargil, Ladakh, Chandigarh, and Goa have received the cargo.

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The government is especially focusing on the northeast areas and ensuring the last-mile delivery of these emergency medical requirements. On the international level, India and China have established an air bridge already. The first cargo flight of Air India operated on 4 April 2020 and brought 21 tons of medical equipment. On 7 April 2020, Air India brought 6.14 tons of medical equipment from Hong Kong. Further, on  7 April Air India lifted 8.85 tons of supplies to Colombo.

Minister Hardeep Puri also tweeted upon the successful initiative under Lifeline Udaan. He said, "200 tonnes of critical supplies across 1,32,000 km. Mission Lifeline Udan is in full swing. No Indian will be left behind. Together, we shall overcome."

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