Updated: August 21, 2021 8:08:01 am
The Delhi government has notified a policy to augment the production, transportation, and storage capacity of medical oxygen in the city to manage possible surges of Covid in the future more efficiently.
Under the incentive-driven policy, liquid oxygen plants of up to 100 MT capacity will be commissioned by December 31, 2022; PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) plants of up to Rs 200 MT capacity will be commissioned by March 31, 2022; and cryogenic tankers with capacity of up to 500 MT will be pressed into service by December 31, 2021.
“The sudden increased demand coupled with negligible oxygen production in the State has necessitated dependence on resources outside Delhi. As the number of patients requiring oxygen support increased in a very short span of time (during second wave), the pressure on supply of medical oxygen to hospitals was significantly strained leading to notable delay in movement of oxygen from outside Delhi.
Though the present situation is better, but a similar crisis may re-occur in future and it is needed to be better equipped to manage such a situation in future,” the policy document states.
It essentially seeks to provide incentives in the form of subsidies and tax reimbursements to private enterprises to invest in the medical oxygen sector. The policy was approved the Delhi Cabinet on August 3.
The incentives include Rs 20 lakh subsidy per metric tonne capacity for liquid oxygen manufacturing plants and PSA plants, Rs 3 lakh subsidy per metric-tonne capacity of cryogenic tankers among others.
The Delhi government has so far installed 42 PSA plants in its hospitals with a combined capacity to generate 50.08 MT (metric tonne) of medical oxygen as part of preparations to meet a surge in Covid cases during a possible third wave.
According to official records, out of the total, 13 PSA plants – seven in Delhi government hospitals and six in Centre-run hospitals – have been set up using the PM Cares fund. The rest have come up under various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
PSA plants are compact set ups to generate medical oxygen that are located within premises of hospitals. These facilities help meet emergency situations like the second wave when the demand for medical oxygen had shot up sharply, leaving the government struggling to ensure adequate supply.
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