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Day after HC rap, Ashok Gehlot asks PM Modi to acquire oxygen tankers

Gehlot said that the complaints by states will stop only once there are enough tankers to supply the allotted oxygen. He also requested the PM to allot medicines and oxygen according to the number of Covid-19 patients in the state, as people in Rajasthan are also starting to suffer.

By: Express News Service | Jaipur |
April 28, 2021 8:08:01 am
Ashok Gehlot, Narendra Modi, Gehlot to Modi, Delhi HC on oxygen, Rajasthan news, Rajasthan civud cases, India news, indian expressRajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. (File)

A day after the Delhi High court pulled up the Rajasthan government for reportedly stopping four oxygen tankers from leaving the state, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to acquire more tankers to ensure the delivery of allotted oxygen to states, even as a delegation of his ministers met Union ministers and bureaucrats to apprise them about the shortage of oxygen and medicine in the state.

The chief minister spoke to Prime Minister Modi over the phone and is learnt to have asked him to acquire oxygen tankers from across the country. He said that the way the Union government has acquired oxygen plants and then allotted oxygen to states, it should acquire and allot tankers too, as, without these vehicles, oxygen will not reach the states.

He said that the complaints by states will stop only once there are enough tankers to supply the allotted oxygen. Gehlot also requested the PM to allot medicines and oxygen according to the number of Covid-19 patients in the state, as people in Rajasthan are also starting to suffer.

On Monday, after air products manufacturer INOX told the Delhi High court that four of its tankers have been taken over by the Rajasthan government, the division bench had said it expects the state to honour orders passed by the Central government and the court. Later, at a Covid review meet in evening, CM Gehlot had said that the state just has 23 tankers to transport oxygen, and it is leading to bottlenecks in receiving supply from Jamnagar in Gujarat, as well as from Odisha and Jharkhand. He had said that there are reports from other states of people dying due to lack of oxygen, and such a situation should not arise in Rajasthan.

Health Secretary Siddharth Majahan said Tuesday that Rajasthan had airlifted oxygen from Jamnagar in Gujarat, from where the state has been allotted 35 metric tonnes from the Reliance Industries’ oxygen plant. Incidentally, the Union government also announced allotment of four imported cryogenic tankers, of 10 metric tonnes each, to Rajasthan to bring oxygen to the state. The four are among the 20 tankers – 12 of 10MT and 8 of 20 MT – announced for Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Delhi on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Gehlot also spoke to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and reported on the Covid situation in the state.

Meanwhile, a delegation comprising Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma, and cabinet ministers B D Kalla and Shanti Dhariwal also reached Delhi on Tuesday. CM Gehlot said that the delegation isn’t going to Delhi to complain, but to ask for necessary resources crucial for saving lives. The main agenda of the delegation is said to be that the state isn’t receiving even its allotted supply of medical oxygen and drugs such as remdesivir, among other things. On Tuesday, the delegation met Lok Sabha Speaker and Kota MP Om Birla, as well as Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, among others.

State Congress president and Education minister Govind Singh Dotasra also tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, while the state reported 16,089 new cases and 121 deaths for the day.

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