Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh urges Centre to ensure uninterrupted medical oxygen supply to the state
In a letter to Union Health and Family Welfare minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Capt Amarinder Singh also reiterated his request for setting up of two pending Pressure Swing Adsorption plants in Punjab
Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Wednesday urged the Union government to ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply to the state, with at least 120 MT daily.
Capt Amarinder Singh also reiterated his request for setting up of two pending Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) plants approved by it two months ago.
In a letter to Union Health and Family Welfare minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the CM sought immediate consideration of his request for uninterrupted oxygen supplies from the Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) suppliers as per commitment on daily basis.
He also requested that allocation to Punjab be kept at least at 120 MT daily, excluding Punjab’s quota of supply of 22 MT to PGIMER, Chandigarh.
While the capacity for storage of medical oxygen for all healthcare facilities in Punjab is around 300 MT, the daily consumption as per the present case load is around 105-110 MT, the Chief Minister pointed out. He added that this was expected to further rise to around 150-170 MT in the next two weeks as per the projections of increase in hospital admissions due to the rising case load.
Capt Amarinder Singh noted that since the main requirement of the state is fulfilled from outside, adherence of supply as per the allocation made by the Centre for all states, including Punjab, is critical to be able to meet the daily requirements.
The Central Control Group on Oxygen had allocated 126 MT (including 32 MT from the local ASUs) on April 15, 2021. However, the allocation has subsequently been reduced to 82 MT from the week of April 25, 2021, said the Chief Minister.
He added that this allocation would be grossly insufficient to meet the demand.
The Central allocation control room has clubbed allocation of Punjab with the Union Territory of Chandigarh (22 MT) which further reduces the allocation for Punjab, he added.
The demand is currently fulfilled by the manufacturers, refillers, ASUs of the state and PSA plants in a few districts, both in government and private sector.
Capt Amarinder Singh said that the biggest constraint faced by Punjab is that the supply to the manufacturers/distributors and the refillers for liquid oxygen is fulfilled by manufacturers from outside the state as there is no LMO plant within the state.
On the two pending PSA plants, which were approved by the Union government two months ago for Government Medical College and Hospitals (GMCHs) at Patiala and Amritsar, he urged the Health Minister
to initiate the process of setting them up expeditiously, to reduce oxygen requirement from LMO suppliers.