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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Restore oxygen supply: Industrial sector to Maharashtra government

The surge in demand for medical oxygen had seen the government cranking up production and diverting the same from industrial usage.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: May 31, 2021 10:47:36 am
Pune news, Pune oxygen supply, Pune industrial sector, Maharashtra govt, Pune covid situation, Pune covid cases, Indian expressWorkers unloading oxygen cylinders from a truck outside a private hospital at Kasba Peth. (Express photo by Ashish Kale/File)

Industrial bodies in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad have urged the state government to restore the supply of oxygen for industrial use as the demand for medical oxygen has dipped significantly in the district.

For want of the regular oxygen supply, the sector has faced constrains in their operations in the past two months.

The surge in demand for medical oxygen had seen the government cranking up production and diverting the same from industrial usage. The gas is used mainly for welding and other industrial purposes, especially in the automobile sector.

Given the predominance of auto and auto ancillaries in the district, the diversion hit them hard.

In a memorandum submitted to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, the Pimpri Chinchwad Small Scale Industries Association said of 11,000-12,000 small and medium scale industries in the area, around 5,000-6,000 require oxygen for their day to day activities.

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Since the start of the second wave in April, oxygen supply to the industrial sector has been stopped.

Sandeep Belsare, president of the association, said since the second week of May, the need for medical oxygen has dipped. “As oxygen is not being diverted for industrial purposes, around 30-40 percent of produced gas remains unsold. In want of demand, the oxygen generation units at Chimbli and Ranjangaon remain closed. The combined capacity of both these plants is 1,500 cylinders,” Belsare said.

Pawar has asked the Pune collector to calculate the unused stock left from these two plants after meeting the requirement of other districts in the state.

As per the 14th survey, conducted by the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture, industrial activities remained almost flat without any significant growth in May.

On an average, all companies in the district said around 70 per cent of their workforce were working, which was the same in April.

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