Amid shortage, the Central government on Sunday has prohibited the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes.
In a letter to all Chief Secretaries, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, has asked them to take all measures to prohibit the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes, except those exempted.
"Keeping in view the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases and resultaant rapid demand for medical oxygen, particularly in high-burden states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, etc., EG-II (Empwered Group-II) has reviewed the supply of oxygen for industrial use in order to divert the same to meet the rising demand for medical oxygen in the country and save precious lives," the letter read.
"Accordingly, the EG-II has recommended prohibiting the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes by manufacturers and suppliers from April 22 till further orders, with the exception of nine specified industries," it added.
In the letter, Bhalla said that the recommendation has been accepted by the government.
The nine industries exempted from this are:
1. Ampoules and Vials
3. Petroleum refineries
4. Steel plants
5. Nuclear energy facilities
6. Oxygen cylinder manufacturers
7. Waste water treatment plants
8. Food and water purification
9. Process industries which require uninterrupted operation of furnaces, processes, etc.,
Meanwhile, Union Minister Piyush Goyal has said that 6,177 metric tonnes of oxygen has been finalized to be distributed to states. Maharashtra to get the biggest share of 1,500 metric tonnes of oxygen, Delhi to get 350 metric tonnes and Uttar Pradesh to get 800 metric tonnes, he added.
"Except for nine sectors, supply of oxygen for industrial purposes by manufacturers and suppliers will be prohibited from April 22 as a temporary measure. This has been done to ensure adequate supply of oxygen to hospital," he said.
"State governments should keep demand (for medical oxygen) under control. Demand-side management is as important as supply-side management. Containing COVID spread is the responsibility of state governments & they should fulfil this responsibility," he added.