DRDO hands over 75 large oxygen cylinders for use in Delhi

Rajnath grants emergency financial powers to armed forces to speed up efforts to tide over COVID-19 crisis

April 30, 2021 02:29 pm | Updated May 01, 2021 01:30 am IST - New Delhi

An Indian Navy vessel at the Manama port in Bahrain to transport 40MT of liquid oxygen to Mumbai. Photo: Special Arrangement

An Indian Navy vessel at the Manama port in Bahrain to transport 40MT of liquid oxygen to Mumbai. Photo: Special Arrangement

To meet the urgent requirement of oxygen in various parts of the country, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is arranging big size oxygen cylinders for fulfilling requirements of different hospitals.

In a separate development, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh invoked special provisions and granted emergency financial powers to the armed forces to empower them and speed up their efforts to tide over the current COVID-19 situation.

“In this regard, the DRDO has handed over 75 such cylinders to the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of NCT of Delhi on Thursday,” a DRDO statement said. Forty cylinders of same capacity were handed over to Cabinet Secretariat officials on Friday for utilisation at the Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre at Radha Soami Satsang Beas at Chhatarpur in New Delhi.

These cylinders are of 80 litres water capacity each and can be pressurised up to 130 bar because of which each of these cylinders can store 10,000 litres of oxygen, the statement said.

These cylinders are high pressure seamless cylinders certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards and approved by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) and have been airlifted from Vadodara, Gujarat. Efforts are being made for arranging many more such cylinders for different hospitals, the DRDO added.

Emergency powers

The emergency financial powers will help formation commanders to establish and operate quarantine facilities, hospitals and undertake procurement, repair of equipment, items, material and stores, besides provisioning of various services and works required to support the ongoing effort against the pandemic, the Defence Ministry said.

Under these powers, Vice Chiefs of the armed forces, including the Chief Of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs Of Staff Committee (CISC) and General Officer Commanding-in-Chiefs (GOC-in-Cs) and equivalents of all three Services have been given full powers, whereas Corps Commanders and Area Commanders have been delegated powers up to ₹50 lakh per case and Division Commanders, Sub Area Commanders and equivalents have been delegated powers up to ₹20 lakh per case. “These powers have been devolved initially for three months from May 1 to July 31, 2021. These are in addition to the emergency powers delegated to the medical officers of the armed forces last week,” the Ministry said.

Navy contingent

The Navy has sent a 76-member medical contingent from five Naval hospitals around the country to bolster availability of trained manpower in the 900-bed COVID hospital in Ahmedabad.

The Cantonment Boards have extended support to civil administration in various parts of the country to tide over the surge in cases. “Presently, 39 Cantonment Boards (CB) are maintaining 40 general hospitals with 1,240 beds. CB hospitals at Pune, Kirkee and Deolali with 304 beds have been designated as dedicated COVID hospitals.,” a Defence Ministry statement said.

Cantonment General Hospitals of Kirkee, Deolali, Dehuroad, Jhansi and Ahmednagar have been designated as COVID care centres with 418 beds. “A dedicated COVID health centre at Dehuroad is ready and would become functional soon, while the ICU facility with six beds is being set up at CGH, Kirkee. Oxygen support is available in 37 CBs and presently they have a stock of 658 cylinders,” the Ministry added.

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