Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday spoke to his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray about the supply of oxygen, which he said has been halted from the western state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 a lot. 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.
Short-term arrangements have been made to ensure that COVID-19 patients are not affected, he said.
"As part of our long-term planning, we have 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 the next six months," he said.