Tamil Nadu

Centre tells High Court it has stepped up oxygen allocation to Tamil Nadu

CHENNAI, 11/04/2008: Madras High Court buildings in Chennai on April 11, 2008. Photo: V. Ganesan  

The Centre on Wednesday informed the Madras High Court that it had increased the allocation of oxygen to Tamil Nadu, under the National Oxygen Plan, from 419 tonnes to 519 tonnes a day.

Additional Solicitor General R. Sankaranarayanan made the submission before Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy during the hearing of a suo motu public interest litigation petition taken up by the court to monitor the fight against COVID-19.

When the Chief Justice said the State’s requirement might shoot up to over 800 tonnes a day if the number of cases continued to rise, and sought to know of alternative arrangements, the ASG said he had discussed with officials concerned the suggestion made by the court on establishing oxygen generation plants in Tamil Nadu through the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Oxygen plants

“If the Tamil Nadu government sends a request to the authorities in charge of the PM Cares Fund, they will make arrangements for the DRDO to set up oxygen generators,” he told the Bench, which in turn asked Advocate-General R. Shunmugasundaram to take note and make an appropriate request so that oxygen generation facilities in the State could be augmented and kept ready for exigencies that might arise in future.

Thereafter, Mr. Sankaranarayanan presented before the court a revised oxygen allocation order issued by the Centre on Tuesday and said Tamil Nadu had been allotted 38 tonnes from National Oxygen Limited in Erode, 15 tonnes from JSW Steel Limited in Salem, 40 tonnes from Sicgilsol Gases Private Limited in Thanjavur, 140 tonnes from INOX Air Products in Sriperumbudur, 60 tonnes from LINDE St. Gobain, 30 tonnes from National Oxygen Limited in Puducherry and 44 tonnes from INOX Puducherry.

Apart from this, 50 tonnes from Tata Steel in Kalinganagar, Odisha, and 50 more tonnes from the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) plant in Rourkela, Odisha, had also been allotted to Tamil Nadu. However, since supplies from Odisha might take time, the Centre had asked the Railways to deliver about 80 tonnes of oxygen from other sources to Tamil Nadu, by Wednesday, and stated that the existing supply of 40 tonnes from INOX in Kanjikode, Kerala, would also continue only till Wednesday.

However, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan, in his status report before the court, insisted that the supply from Kanjikode be continued for at least 10 more days, since private hospitals in the western districts, including Coimbatore, and those in the south up to Madurai were dependent on oxygen supply from Kerala. After taking note of the submissions, the judges decided to take a call on the issue on Thursday and adjourned the hearing by a day.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 3:11:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/centre-tells-high-court-it-has-stepped-up-oxygen-allocation-to-tamil-nadu/article34545987.ece

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