Delhi, April 16
Amid crisis surfaced due to the second wave of COVID-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a comprehensive review to ensure adequate medical grade oxygen supply in the country. Inputs from ministries like Health, DPIIT, Steel, Road Transport, etc were also shared with the PM.
PM stressed that it is important to ensure synergy across ministries & state governments.
PM Modi also took a detailed review of current situation of oxygen supply and projected use in the coming 15 days across 12 high burden states (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan). An overview of district level situation in these states was presented to the PM.
PM was informed that the Centre and States are in regular contact and estimates for projected demand have been shared with states as on 20th April, 25th April & 30th April. Accordingly, 4,880 MT, 5,619 MT and 6,593 MT have been allocated to these 12 states for meeting their projected demand as on 20th April, 25th April and 30th April, respectively.
PM was briefed about production capacity in the country to meet the rising demand. PM suggested to increase oxygen production as per capacity of each plant. It was discussed that surplus stocks of oxygen supply in steel plants are being offered from medical use.
PM urged officials to ensure seamless and free movement of tankers carrying oxygen throughout the country. The Government has exempted all interstate movement of oxygen tankers from registration of permits to enable easier movement. PM was informed that States and transporters have been asked to ensure tankers move round the clock with drivers working in shifts to ensure faster turnaround and adequate capacity to meet the surge in demand. Cylinder filling plants will also be permitted 24 hour working with necessary safeguards. The Government is allowing Industrial cylinders to be used for medical oxygen after due purging. Similarly nitrogen and argon tankers will be automatically allowed to be converted to oxygen tankers to overcome the potential shortage of tankers.
Officers also briefed the PM about the efforts being made to import medical grade oxygen.