Covid-19: Delhi cabinet approves policy to make city oxygen self-reliant
The policy was drafted after Delhi faced a severe crisis of medical oxygen during the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic – also the worst so far – in April this year, said chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The Delhi cabinet on Tuesday approved the Medical Oxygen Production Promotion Policy 2021, which aims to make Delhi self-reliant in production of medical oxygen by providing subsidies and tax reimbursements to the private enterprises that invest in production, transport and storage of the life-saving gas.
The policy was drafted after Delhi faced a severe crisis of medical oxygen during the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic – also the worst so far – in April this year, said chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Delhi battled an acute shortage of oxygen in April and May as hospitals in the capital sent out SOS calls to authorities to replenish their dwindling stocks.
In a statement issued by Kejriwal’s office, he said, “The Medical Oxygen Production Promotion Policy 2021 provides several incentives to the private sector to set up oxygen production plants, storage facilities, and oxygen tankers… This will help improve oxygen availability in Delhi...”
A senior government official said the policy is likely to be notified later this month.
The statement said the government aims to encourage setting up new manufacturing enterprises and expanding the production capacity of existing ones for “uninterrupted oxygen supply”.
It also said that the government has set five targets: 1. Setting up of liquid oxygen (LOX) manufacturing facilities of 50 MT (metric tonnes) to 100 MT; 2. Setting up of non-captive oxygen generation plants of minimum 10 MT and maximum 50 MT capacity up to a total of 100 MT; 3. Setting up of captive oxygen generation plants of minimum 500 LPM (litres per-minute) capacity at hospitals and nursing homes to cater to peak demand for medical oxygen, up to a total capacity of 200 MT; 4. Setting up of cryogenic tankers of minimum carrying capacity of 10 MT for ferrying liquid medical oxygen up to a total capacity of 500 MT; 5. Setting up of liquid medical oxygen storage tanks of minimum 10 MT capacity up to a total capacity of 1,000 MT.
For liquid oxygen manufacturing plants, non-captive cryogenic plants and PSA plants for hospitals and nursing homes, an enterprises will be eligible for a one-time subsidy of ₹20 lakh per MT capacity; one-time subsidy of ₹3 lakh per MT for cryogenic tankers; and a one-time subsidy of ₹1 lakh per MT on liquid medical oxygen storage for hospitals, nursing homes and re-fillers.
The statement further promised power subsidy for such units as well. A total of 160 pressure swing adsorption oxygen plants are supposed to be installed in public and private hospitals in the Capital.