Pratap Simha seeks district-wise quota for oxygen distribution

The State’s lack of a robust mechanism for oxygen distribution to districts based on actual requirements, is coming to the fore with the elected representatives squabbling over oxygen allocation.

Mysuru MP Pratap Simha on Friday took exception to Ministers K.C. Narayana Gowda and S. Suresh Kumar allegedly monitoring and personally overseeing the transportation of oxygen cylinders to Mandya and Chamarajanagar from a private refilling agency in Mysuru.

Mr. Simha said Mysuru was ensuring equitable supply of oxygen based on demands and the “overbearing attitude’’ of the Ministerswas uncalled for and amounted to creating distrust among different districts.

“They cannot use the Chamarajanagar tragedy as a pretext to commandeer the refilling plant in Mysuru to ensure supply to their districts. Instead of coming to Mysuru they should sit with the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary to place their requirements’’, said Mr. Simha.

The issue also came up in the meeting convened by the Mysuru district in-charge Minister S. Somashekar a day earlier and elected representatives of the region spoke strongly against such alleged practices. Mr. Somashekar said he will seek the intervention of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to ensure that the Mysuru’s requirement of 48 kilolitres of oxygen per day was not affected.

Mr. Simha, who heads the recently constituted task force to ensure and monitor the availability of oxygen and remdesivir in the district, said Mysuru too had its requirements and was getting half of its 48 KL per day requirements while there were more than 100 hospitals in the district.

“I will write to the Chief Minister to fix a quota for each district based on the number of COVID-19 cases and the requirement’, he said.

The MP sought to tighten the monitoring mechanism at the refilling plant in Mysuru and installed CCTV cameras so as to “keep a tab’’ on the dispatch of cylinders personally.

“Another team will be stationed on the premises with log books and it will make entry on the number of oxygen cylinders dispatched to different districts and hospitals.’

Mr. Simha told mediapersons the existing load of COVID-19 patients on the hospitals was crippling and these numbers are expected to double by the time the second wave peaks. Hence it was imperative for the districts to assess their oxygen requirements and write to the government to ensure their supplies. In a bid to reduce load on the existing system, the district has sought 200 additional oxygen concentrators, Mr. Simha said, adding that oxygen storage and refilling plants will be established in all taluks in due course.

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Printable version | May 29, 2022 2:40:30 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/pratap-simha-seeks-district-wise-quota-for-oxygen-distribution/article34507349.ece