Oxygen for industrial use to be diverted for Covid-19 patients: Centre

  • The prohibition of supply of oxygen to the industrial sector, however, will not apply to petroleum, nuclear energy, waste water management, food and water purification, pharmaceutical, process industries.
A health worker checks oxygen cylinders at a makeshift Covid-19 quarantine facility set up in a banquet hall in New Delhi, India. (Bloomberg)
A health worker checks oxygen cylinders at a makeshift Covid-19 quarantine facility set up in a banquet hall in New Delhi, India. (Bloomberg)
Updated on Apr 18, 2021 09:34 PM IST
Copy Link
By | Edited by Mallika Soni

Amid rise in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in several states, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla asked all chief secretaries on Sunday to take measures to prohibit the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes, except for those that fall in the exempted category. Oxygen is an important element used in the treatment of certain medical conditions which arise due to the Covid-19 infection.

“Keeping in view the rapid rise in COVID cases and resultant rapid demand for medical oxygen, particularly in high-burden states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, etc, EG-II has reviewed the supply of oxygen for industrial use in order to divert the same to meet the rising demand for medical oxygen in the country and save precious lives,” Bhalla wrote in a letter to all chief secretaries.

“I urge you to issue necessary instructions to all the authorities concerned in your state to ensure compliance to the decision and take necessary measures to prohibit the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes, except those exempted nine industries,” he added.

The exempted industries include: ampoules and vials, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refineries, steel plants, nuclear energy facilities, oxygen cylinder manufacturers, wastewater treatment plants, food and water purification and process industries which require uninterrupted operation of furnaces as approved by the state governments, according to the order.

Read more: 'Shameless politics': Piyush Goyal to Uddhav Thackeray after Maharashtra complains of oxygen shortage

After the order, Union minister Piyush Goyal said that the measure has been taken to ensure adequate supply of oxygen to hospitals.

"Before COVID pandemic hit India, our daily medical oxygen consumption was around 1000-1200 metric tonnes. But on April 15, 4,795 metric tonnes of medical oxygen was used in the country. We've increased production capacity in last one year," Goyal said according to news agency ANI.

The government also gave a break-up of the shares that will be allotted to states which face the shortage of oxygen. Maharashtra will get the largest share with 1,646 metric tonnes of oxygen, followed by Uttar Pradesh which will be given 752 metric tonnes and Delhi which will be allotted 378 metric tonnes.


Earlier in the day, following reports of shortage of oxygen supply for Covid-19 patients across several states, the Indian Railways said that it will operate ‘Oxygen Express’ trains for the transport of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) and oxygen cylinders.

Several states have reported shortage of oxygen with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal saying on Sunday that the national capital was facing a “very serious” situation amid the rise in Covid-19 cases which has resulted in shortage of crucial drugs and oxygen. Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had also talked about the shortage of oxygen in his address to the people of the state on April 13.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, May 28, 2022