May 5, 2021 3:22:17 am
The Maharashtra government and the BMC wrote two separate letters to the Centre highlighting their daily oxygen requirement, with state Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte requesting for enhanced allocation of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to the state by at least 200 MT.
The letters, officials said, were also written to ensure that allocation for Maharashtra and Mumbai is not reduced on the ground of increasing allocation for Delhi, which has been witnessing an acute shortage of oxygen.
BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal wrote to the office of Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, giving details of daily oxygen consumption in Mumbai, which currently stands at 220 MT. The city’s active case load is 57,342. “I had a word with the minister and he wanted daily break up of Mumbai’s oxygen requirement in light of Delhi’s demand for 700 MT. This letter gives details of daily cases and oxygen consumption in Mumbai. There is no shortage,” Chahal said.
Chahal said they have created protocol for oxygen use to limit consumption after BMC was forced to shift 168 patients from six hospitals due to oxygen shortage on April 18. A letter was written to the Centre even then to ensure steady supply.
With Maharashtra’s current oxygen requirement ranging between 1,750 MT 1,850 MT daily, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that the state has asked the Centre to increase oxygen allocation by 200 MT. “We have also received response from a few countries for the global tender that has been floated. After careful scrutiny, orders will be placed,” Tope said.
Maharashtra has issued tender for 25,000 MT oxygen, 40,000 concentrators, 132 pressure swing adsorption plants and 27 tankers.
In his letter dated May 3, Kunte said that at present, the state has 6,63,758 active cases. Of them, 78,884 patients are on medical oxygen, including 24,787 in ICU.
The 16 districts that are recording growth in active cases and oxygen requirement are Palghar, Ratnagiri, $indhudurg, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur, Nandurbar, Beed, Parbhani, Hingoli, Amravati, Buldhana, Wardha, Gadchiroli and Chandrapur, he added. “I assure you that we are carrying out oxygen audit in every district to contain the demand in every possible manner. However, considering this situation, I request you that the current allocation of the state be enhanced by at least 200 MT,” Kunte wrote.
He also suggested that the allocation should be enhanced from convenient locations for easy transportation or they will remain only on paper. “This allocation may be enhanced from locations convenient to the state. Otherwise, earlier allocations from RINL in Vizag and Jindal Steel Plant at Angul in Odisha remain only on paper,” he stated.
“My request is to enhance allocation from Jamnagar in Gujarat – from current 125 MT/day to 225 MT/day. Similarly, allocation from Bhilai may be increased to 230 MT from the current 130 MT. These geographically close locations will reduce the turnaround time of oxygen tankers, which are limited in number,” Kunte added.
“I request you to allocate at least 10 LMO tankers to Maharashtra,” he said.
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