Amid the worsening COVID-19 crisis in India, many states Delhi and Maharashtra have reported lack of beds and oxygen supplies to treat incoming infected patients into hospitals. In order to address the issue of lack of oxygen supplies, the Central government on Sunday announced that all oxygen supplies to be diverted to medical purposes only.
The Central Government barred some nine industries in the country to use oxygen supplies from Thursday. Pharmaceuticals, nuclear powers, waste water treatment, food and water treatment continuous production industries and other handful of industries only be allowed to use any industrial oxygen.
Currently, a group of secretaries from the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Textile Ministries are in together to discuss further developments with regards to the issue.
He said that the decision was necessary very much as demand for oxygen in the second wave of pandemic is expected to rise already by an additional 60%. States like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi along with other states that report and contribute to the numbers project already rising numbers.
Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla re-assured that the decision was taken only after the proper discussion of secretaries. He also said that the secretaries were in discussions with state governments to re-route the surplus available industrial oxygen to medical purposes. So, a central control room is set up to match the supply with the demand in states.
To states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal, supply of oxygen is expected to arrive from the steel refineries available in the Eastern region. Similar industries with surplus oxygen supply will cater to the demands in their respective regions of the country.
The Central Government has proposed an idea of Oxygen Express, to transport oxygen to the states in its liquid form. The transportation will go through the ‘Green Corridor’ in cryogenic containers/tankers across the nation.