Centre lists steps taken to boost oxygen availability amid Covid
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NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday highlighted the steps taken by it over the previous few days to reinforce oxygen provide in India because the nation faces a well being disaster following the catastrophic second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The authorities took efforts to enhance oxygen manufacturing, enhancing tanker availability, bettering oxygen storage on the final mile and easing norms of procurement, the commerce ministry mentioned in an announcement.
“Oxygen availability has been enhanced by increase in production capacity and production, setting up of Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Plants, import of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO), and procurement of oxygen concentrators,” it mentioned.
The authorities additionally listed steps to spice up the supply of oxygen tankers, which included streamlining of transportation, conversion of nitrogen and argon tankers and import of tankers/containers together with boosting of home manufacturing.
The assertion comes amid experiences of oxygen scarcity from a number of hospitals throughout the nation, particularly in Delhi.
The courts had final week lashed out at each the Centre and the Delhi authorities whereas ordering ample provide of oxygen to avoid wasting lives of significant COVID-19 sufferers.
The Delhi authorities has repeatedly claimed that the nationwide capital is receiving much less oxygen than what has been demanded.
The commerce ministry acknowledged that oxygen manufacturing has elevated from 5,700 MT per day in August final yr to 9,446 MT per day in May this yr.
The manufacturing capability has additionally elevated from 6,817 MT per day to 7,314 MT per day, and capability utilization has gone up from 84 per cent to 129 per cent throughout this era, the ministry mentioned.
“Steel companies from both the public and private sectors have stepped up efforts to meet the nation’s requirement of medical oxygen. On May 4, the total liquid medical oxygen production by the steel plants was 3680.30 MT. The total LMO supply per day was up from an average 1500-1700 MT in mid-April to 3131.84 MT on April 25, and further to 4076.65 MT on May 4,” it mentioned.
It mentioned that the LMO sale has additionally elevated from about 1,300 MT/day in March 1 to eight,920 MT/day on May 6.
During the primary wave of Covid-19, the utmost sale of three,095 MT/day of LMO was seen on September 29, 2020. The sale grew greater than five-fold from 1,559 MT/day on March 31 this yr to over eight,000 MT mark by May three, 2021.
On the oxygen allocation course of, it mentioned that it has constantly advanced to streamline the distribution in India.
It added that the allocation to states/UTs is dynamic in nature, based mostly on necessities as per well being ministry norms, and session with states/UTs, producers and different stakeholders.
“There is a mismatch between producing and consuming states, and equity among states to be maintained. Moreover, one-third of the production is concentrated in East India, while 60% of demand for oxygen is in North and South India, resulting in transportation challenges,” it mentioned.
It added that mapping of supply and vacation spot of oxygen has been accomplished to optimize transportation plans in session with states/UTs, producers and different stakeholders.
Regarding oxygen manufacturing capability enhancement plans, the ministry mentioned that extra 70 MT/day manufacturing is predicted in Karnataka.
“1,594 PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) plants are being established to improve oxygen supply near demand clusters…74 of the 162 PSA plants have been installed and the rest will be installed by June 2021. 1,051 additional PSA plants sanctioned under the PM Cares Fund in March and April 2021 will be commissioned in the next three months in phases,” it added.
On imports, it mentioned 50,000 MT of liquid oxygen is being imported from abroad, with orders and supply schedule for five,800 MT has been finalized; three quotations have been acquired for three,500 MT, which was authorized on April 21 with supply over three months.
In addition, 2,285 MT of LMO is being imported from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and France. Further procurement of 1 lakh oxygen concentrators has been sanctioned beneath PM Cares Fund on April 27 and the provide has been acquired for two,500 items.
“There has been an excellent response to the tender floated by ONGC. Offers for 50,000 concentrators have been acquired from home producers. Awards for 9,800 items have been finalized with a supply schedule of four,800 items on May 15 and 5,000 items on May 27.
“In addition, 55 bidders have expressed curiosity to produce 70,000 – 75,000 items of concentrators. Orders are being finalized and shall be positioned based mostly on promised supply schedule,” it added.
The ministry mentioned that in March 2020, the capability of tankers was 12,480 MT and their quantity was 1,040. Now, the capability of tankers has gone as much as 23,056 MT and their quantity has elevated to 1,681, which incorporates 408 transformed tankers and 101 imported tankers.
“248 oxygen tankers are being imported, with 101 tankers imported up to now and one other 58 tankers to be imported in subsequent 10 days; In addition, 100 tankers are being manufactured domestically,” it mentioned.
Till the night of May 9, 293 MT has been offloaded in Maharashtra by railways; 1,230 MT in Uttar Pradesh; 271 MT in Madhya Pradesh; 555 MT in Haryana; 123 MT in Telangana; 40 MT in Rajasthan; and 1,679 MT in Delhi.
An online and app-based Oxygen Digital Tracking System (ODTS) has been launched to allow actual time monitoring of oxygen motion within the nation.
About 2,500 extra drivers are being educated to drive oxygen tankers by the National Skill Development Corporation and Logistics Sector Skill Council.
It added that the variety of cryogenic tanks for storing oxygen at hospitals has elevated to 901 from 609 since March 2020 and availability of medical oxygen cylinders has elevated from four.35 lakh in March 2020 to 11.19 lakh in May 21.
“Additional, three.35 lakh cylinders are being procured according to estimated enhance in demand. Orders have been positioned for extra 1,27,000 cylinders on April 21. DRDO is procuring 10,00,000 NRM valves beneath PM Cares Fund – this gadget will scale back wastage of oxygen by shutting out the provision throughout exhalation,” it mentioned.
(With inputs from PTI)

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