Oxygen supply for MP: Talks between Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Uddhav Thackeray yield no concrete results

BHOPAL: Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday called up his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray over oxygen supply. The talks however, ended with latter’s assurance of looking into the matter.

Amid ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, western state government has taken the stand that since oxygen demand has shot up in their home state it was their priority to ensure its sufficient availability there rather than supplying it to other states.

Maharashtra had been supplying 20 tonnes oxygen to MP but it was halted recently creating shortage in the MP. Madhya Pradesh produces 50 tonnes oxygen which is being majorly used for industrial purposes and not medical.

Speaking to reporters here, Chouhan said shortage of oxygen cylinders was a cause for concern and Thackeray has assured him of maintaining the supply to the state.

"The shortage of oxygen was worrying me. I spoke to Uddhav Thackeray and requested him not to stop the supply at this difficult time," the chief minister said. Chouhan said his Maharashtra counterpart had said that he too was facing difficulties due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in his state, but has assured of working towards maintaining the supply.

"We have also made alternate arrangements. Earlier, Madhya Pradesh had oxygen production installed capacity of 50 tonnes, which has now been increased to 120 tonnes. We will take it to 150 tonnes by September 30," Chouhan added.

A company called INOX used to supply oxygen from its Nagpur-based plant in Maharashtra, Chouhan said, adding that the firm would now continue the supply from its plants in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. The state government has also asked small oxygen plants in Madhya Pradesh to increase their production from the present 50 to 60 per cent, the chief minister said.

Meanwhile, PS Industries Sanjay Shukla said, “Ten per cent of medical oxygen was supplied from Maharashtra but now since the supply has been stopped we have made alternate arrangements from other states to ensure that Covid-19 patients are not affected. “Currently, there is demand of 100 tonnes oxygen per day in the state for Covid patients. Around 50 tons oxygen being produced in state was being used for industrial purpose.”

We have told the Industries to increase production and that all oxygen would be only used for medical purposes only.

CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that as part of our long-term planning, the government has given a green light to INOX to set up an oxygen plant with an installed capacity of 200 tonnes in Mohasa near Babai in Hoshangabad in next six months

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