SWR: Diesel Loco Shed Hubballi Manufactures Hand Sanitizer

In view of increasing COVID-19 infections, public have been advised to clean hand frequently by using soap/hand sanitizers is recommended as one of the preventive measures.

However, with requirement of hand sanitizers going up tremendously, the availability of hand sanitizers in market has come down.

South Western Railway with its headquarters at Hubballi is maintaining more than locomotives in its Diesel Shed located on Gadag Road, Hubballi. This shed is equipped with a laboratory to cater to locomotive maintenance requirements such as lubricant analysis, chemical analysis of various materials etc.

The said laboratory of Diesel Shed, Hubballi has initiated process to manufacture hand sanitizers in-house. As per the directions of Shri Arvind Malkhede, Divisional Railway Manager, Shri Surendra, Chemical and Metallurgical Assistant, and team of the shed laboratory under the guidance of Shri Bhesh Dutt, Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer, and Shri Ashok Kumar Gollapalli, Assistant Chemist and Metallurgist have produced hand sanitizers for use in shed and other railway offices in Hubballi. The sanitizer is prepared with the composition of Surgical Spirit, Aloe vera Gel, Glycerol, Scent. The team is in a position to produce hand sanitizers of 10 Litres per day.


In order to tackle present challenging circumstances in backdrop of COVID-19, Carriage repair workshop of Hubballi started preparing face masks for the use of medical department, doctors and paramedical staff while dealing/ tracing suspected cases of COVID-19.

Manufacturing of personal protective gowns with hood and shoe cover work has been launched under the stewardship of Shri Ravi kumar, Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer and Shri Neeraj Kumar, Chief Workshop Manager/Hubballi.  Shri A. Gopal Sr. Section Engineer has been instrumental in the same.

Dedicated team of 2 supervisors and 9 railway employees have volunteered for this and are preparing these items from the available raw materials.  

The section of Workshop that normally does the job of stitching/furbishing berth covers, curtains on train coaches, etc. is being used for this work. The masks are being made using cotton cloth with bands for adjustment and can be reused after washing.

Shri A.K.Singh, General Manager South Western Railway, said that the timely action taken by Diesel Loco Shed and Workshop of Hubballi   to meet present day crisis is really appreciable and commendable. These initiatives have shown that every citizen can help the country in the present scenario, in their own way.

A limitation being faced now is availability of raw material especially surgical spirit in market. If raw materials are available, manufacturing by Railways can be stepped up further.

Railways  also requests NGOs to arrange raw materials to manufacture  masks and sanitizers for the use of public at large and  Essential Railway Staff in general including Medical, Paramedical, Cleaning, Security, Operations and Maintenance staff   who are working relentlessly now.

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