Madhya Pradesh making arrangements for adequate oxygen supply

Don’t stop supply during crisis, Chouhan tells Maharashtra Chief Minister

Updated - September 11, 2020 02:39 am IST

Published - September 10, 2020 04:01 pm IST - Bhopal:

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. File

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. File

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday appealed to his counterpart in Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, to continue supplying medical oxygen to his State, which is reportedly facing a shortage.

Speaking with reporters here on Thursday, Mr. Chouhan said he had spoken to Mr. Thackeray and requested him “during a crisis like this, oxygen supply shouldn’t be stopped”.

Madhya Pradesh used to get 20 tonnes oxygen from Maharashtra, he added. “There is a firm named INOX which supplied it from Nagpur. Now, the same company will supply it from Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh,” he said.

Mr. Chouhan said the Maharashtra Chief Minister had told him even they were facing a problem owing to COVID-19 patients. “But he said they would make efforts to ensure oxygen supply to our hospitals,” said Mr. Chouhan.

Stating that Madhya Pradesh had made alternative arrangements, he said, “Initially, our production capacity was only 50 tonnes, which we ramped up to 120 tonne. We will take it to 150 tonne by September 30.”

“Our small plants were generating 50%-60% oxygen against their capacity. We have asked them to produce oxygen to their full capacity so that there is a greater availability,” he added, while reassuring the State’s people against a shortage.

As for long-term planning, he said, INOX would install a plant at Mohasa near Babai in Hoshangabad district. “The plant will have an installed capacity of 200 tonnes in the next six months. No one can say until when COVID-19 will last. So, wearing masks is the only option left to prevent it,” he added.

Madhya Pradesh has two major sources - manufacturing capacity available in the State with 11 manufacurers is around 45-50 MT a day, which is not in surplus, and 70-80 MT a day in liquid form being transported largely from Gujarat and Maharashtra, S. Dhanaraju, officer on special duty with the Madhya Pradesh Public Health Services Corporation Limited told The Hindu .

The Nagpur firm supplies to Jabalpur and Rewa, he added. Cases increased rapidly in Jabalpur, and in the meantime Maharashtra government ordered a ban on out-of-State transportation of oxygen. "This order came suddenly. Only the Jabalpur area had some critical moments, which have been addressed" he said.

On Thursday, Madhya Pradesh got 32 MT from Bhilai. "Now that this route has started, I don't think there will be an issue. We are comfortably placed. The oxygen available with us can cater to 5,500 patients in oxygen beds and ventilators," said Mr. Dhanaraju.

Further, he said the State government planned to ramp up the availability to 200 MT a day by September-end, which would roughly translate to 8,000 patients. "Given the increasing rate of consumption, we will be comfortably placed with this capacity," he added.

Meanwhile, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath on Twitter echoed Mr. Chouhan’s request to Maharashtra to ensure complete supply.

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