Madhya Pradesh: State still gasping for oxygen, small plants fall through
(PTI Photo)

BHOPAL: The government has woken up a little late to the acute scarcity of oxygen. That is the reason why the end of its shortage seems to be out of sight. Besides Bhopal, Indore and Jabalpur, Gwalior is facing scarcity of oxygen.

The scarcity of oxygen led to the death of 22 people in Shahdol. Despite that incident, the state faced an acute paucity of oxygen on Saturday. The condition in the small towns is no better. The shortage exists there, too. Many patients are being referred to the big cities, since oxygen is not available in the small towns.

The district hospitals, too, are gasping for oxygen. The state government has set up a few small plants, but they have failed in the time of corona. Oxygen plants are being set up in Khandwa, Ujjain, Morena, Shivpuri, Ratlam, Mandsaur and Seoni. Some of the plants are ready, but they are able to produce only one ton of oxygen, which helps only 100 patients. So, the scarcity of oxygen goes on.

In the coming days, the state will need 700 MT of oxygen. If that is not arranged for, the lives of many people will be in danger.

The government is facing problems in fetching oxygen from other states. The states that were supplying oxygen seemed to have closed it off. Because of a lack of oxygen, the governmentís plan to set up 100,000 beds for corona patients may not come off. Now that oxygen is not available, the government is setting up 50,000 beds. It has become difficult for the government to arrange for oxygen even for this number of beds.

The administration has not made any plans for supply of oxygen in the past one year. The lack of planning has put the government on pins and needles. Scientists across the world had forecast that there would be a second wave of the pandemic. Still, the government had not made any plans for supply of oxygen. Besides, there was no arrangements for tankers to fetch it.

Constructors, cylinders not available

The government has not made any plans to deal with the second wave of the pandemic. Now, it is struggling to find oxygen constructors. It has placed orders for buying oxygen constructors through Gem Portal. But, as there is a demand for it from across the country, the Gem Portal is not ready to supply the item to Madhya Pradesh. There is also an acute shortage of oxygen cylinders in many districts. Against this backdrop, although oxygen had been arranged for, it could not be supplied to the patients.

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