May 12, 2021 8:46:52 am
Although Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has uploaded tenders inviting bids for the purchase of at least 80 oxygen concentrators from the Rs 23-crore Covid cess collected from the residents last year, there is slim chance of an early procurement of this equipment due to the prevailing shortage.
An officer privy to the development said, “UT administration told us to arrange 100 oxygen concentrators for the Directorate of Health Services. The health authorities have already procured 20 concentrators out of 100 on their own. Now we were asked to provide 80 concentrators. We uploaded our requirement on the Government e Marketplace (GeM) but are unlikely to receive bids soon as these equipment are in short supply in the market, and there is a long waiting list. We checked from our counterparts in other states also and did not get an encouraging response.”
The MC had collected Rs 27 crore through Covid cess levied on liquor products between March, 2020 and December, 2020. Around Rs 4 crore out of this sum has already been spent on Covid-19 related matters, such as the expense on garbage collectors deputed in the containment zones, contact tracing employees, fuel for vehicles deputed on Covid duties.
MC Commissioner KK Yadav, said, “There is little chance of getting the concentrators very shortly due to the huge shortage of this equipment. We can not purchase the concentrators directly from the manufacturing units as we are bound to follow the rules/regulations for purchasing anything from public money.”
Due to the shortage of medical oxygen, the UT administration has urged privately established Covid Care Centres to arrange for concentrators on their own instead of relying on assistance from the administration.
Meanwhile, Adviser Manoj Parida urged people to to start concentrator libraries, he said: “Oxygen concentrators are needed by patients at home for 5-6 days. Many can’t afford to buy it. I appeal to NGOs to start concentrator libraries from where it may be borrowed on payment.”
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