Only 16 of 50 oxygen plants operational in Pune district
PUNE As the daily requirement of medical oxygen in Pune district rose to nearly 421 MT at the peak of the second Covid-19 wave, the Pune district administration in May proposed setting up around 50 oxygen generation plants at public hospitals under the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), and rural parts of the district to ease scarcity of medical oxygen and also prepare for a possible third wave. However, of the 50 proposed plants, only 16 have become operational till the end of July even as officials claim that the remaining 34 will soon become active.
Of the 16 oxygen generation plants that have become operational, six are under the PMC; two under the PCMC; and eight in rural parts of Pune district. “Six oxygen generation plants have become operational under the PMC while six more are in the pipeline,” said Dr Ashish Bharati, head of the health department, PMC. The six operational plants under the PMC are at hospitals crucial in the treatment of Covid patients namely, Naidu Hospital, Dalvi Hospital, Baner (old) Hospital, and Laigude Hospital. The six plants in the pipeline have been proposed at Rajiv Gandhi Hospital, Khedekar Hospital and Annasaheb Magar Hospital among others.
Between the 16 oxygen generation plants that have become operational, a total of 13,169 LPM (litres per minute) of oxygen is generated. If the remaining 34 oxygen generation plants also turn operational, the oxygen generation capacity is expected to increase up to 37,267 LPM. The Pune district currently has a medical oxygen storage capacity of 3348.8 MT. Work on the 34 oxygen generation plants is currently in different stages. Funds for these plants are gathered out of corporate social responsibility (CSR), the mayor’s funds, civic bodies’ budgets, and the district planning development committee.
Apart from the eight operational plants, 24 more have been proposed in the rural parts of Pune district. “Some of the proposed plants are expected to be operational by August 31. Work on them is in progress,” said Ayush Prasad, chief executive officer, Pune Zilla Parishad.