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Thursday, June 17, 2021

PGI battles Chandigarh admin for precious oxygen

Governor Badnore intervenes as UT officials stop vendor from supplying oxygen to PGI, saying it’s above their quota

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh |
May 9, 2021 4:30:20 am
A day earlier, Punjab government had stopped oxygen supply to PGIMER from Mandi Gobindgarh.

All hell broke loose on Saturday afternoon when UT administration officers objected to PGIMER buying oxygen from a vendor in Derabassi, saying it was over and above its quota of 20 MT. Sparks flew as the two sides traded charges with PGIMER saying it could lead to a “catastrophic” situation and that it won’t be able to add any more Covid beds. Finally, UT administrator and Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore intervened by getting 3 MT of oxygen from Haryana for the institute. He also feted PGI as a “lifesaver and premier health institute.”

A day earlier, Punjab government had stopped oxygen supply to PGIMER from Mandi Gobindgarh.

It all started when a team of senior officers of the Administration visited the oxygen re-filling plant at Derabassi on Saturday.

“Despite clear instructions to the vendor that the quota provided to be used for specific hospitals, it was observed that some of the cylinders of PGIMER were filled without any permission from UT Administration. This was in gross violation of directions of Chandigarh Administration. The Private Vendor was directed to use the 20 MT oxygen quota for the specific hospitals only and for filling of cylinders of PGIMER, the oxygen may be supplied by PGIMER out of its exclusive quota of 20 MT,” Yashpal Garg, nodal officer for oxygen supplies said.

The UT has been assigned total quota of 40 MT oxygen which includes 20 MT oxygen exclusively for PGIMER. Rest 20 MT oxygen is for Government and private hospitals in Chandigarh.

Out of 20 MT quota of oxygen, about 17 MT oxygen is directly used in the GMCH-32, GMSH-16 and Hospital Sector-48. Remaining about 03 MT is given to a private vendor in Derabassi to re-fill oxygen cylinders of Government and private Hospitals in Chandigarh.

Not liking the Chandigarh administration’s instructions, PGIMER issued a statement in the evening.

“Reference communication received from Anesthetic Gases Pvt.Ltd, Derabassi, PGIMER’s vendor for supply of Mo2 ‘B’ type cylinders, it has been informed to PGIMER authorities that they have been directed not to supply ‘B’ type Medical Oxygen gas cylinders to PGIMER till further instructions. As per the information received, this was directed by a team from Chandigarh Administration headed by Yashpal Garg, Jasjit Singh, Director of industries Chandigarh, Manjit Singh Nodal Officer Chandigarh & other senior officials during their visit to Anesthetic Gases Pvt. Ltd, Dera Bassi, today,” PGI said.

It added, “Considering the Covid-19 patient load in PGI and the incessantly increasing demand of medical oxygen, this kind of directive can lead to further panic in the already catastrophic situation. Therefore, PGI leadership immediately flagged the issue to higher authorities and expects immediate redressal to the issue to avoid turning the already pressing situation into a crisis.”

After PGI’s statement, UT Administration too reacted. “We are already giving 20 MT oxygen to PGI out of our quota of 40 MT. No more oxygen /cylinders can be given without disrupting functioning of our government and private hospitals assigned to us. PGI has requested Government of India to enhance their quota to from 20 MT to 40 MT. The UT Administration has forwarded and strongly supported this claim,” Adviser, Manoj Parida said.

Upset with administration’s reaction, PGI issued another statement saying they won’t be able to increase COVID beds in city, something that UT was demanding for long.

“PGIMER has been designated as the COVID Hospital of UT Chandigarh and is allocated a quota of 20 MT Oxygen per day to meet its requirements.As on date, we at PGIMER have already reached the consumption of 20 MT per day in view of the consistent surge in the patient load of COVID 19. Therefore, it may not be possible to increase the COVID bed strength in PGIMER in case the oxygen allocation is not enhanced with immediate effect,” PGI said.

Late in the evening Punjab Governor and UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore intervened. He issued a statement, ” Oxygen supply to Hptls including PGIMER is being closely monitored PGIMER is lifesaver & premier health institute of Northern India won’t let down its request will see there is no O2 shortage Meanwhile thanks to @cmohry for 3 MT O2 for PGI.”

Parida said that he has also taken up issue of Punjab stopping oxygen supply to PGIMER with the Centre.

Friday onwards, Punjab had refused to allow PGI to get any oxygen cylinders from a private vendor in Mandi, Gobindgarh.

The institute used to get about 50 odd oxygen cylinders, of 7000 litres each from Mandi Gobindgarh.

Due to heavy inflow of patients, PGI has been requiring oxygen over and above the fixed quota of liquid oxygen of 20MT, due to which they had managed additional 50 cylinders through the private vendor.


Meanwhile, Parida informed about the Sector 45 Civil Hospital has been made operational for Covid patients from Saturday evening onwards. It will be an L2 facility.

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