In a bid to ensure adequate supply of oxygen for COVID-19 patients, the Madhya Pradesh government has directed the manufacturers of the life-saving gas in the state to ensure that 90 per cent of their output is reserved for medical purposes.
The state Public Health and Family Welfare Ministry issued an order to this effect on Thursday.
"To all transporters of liquid oxygen, oxygen manufacturers by air separation unit and re-fillers of oxygen gas of Madhya Pradesh shall use 90 per cent of their total transporting/ generating/re-filling capacity to produce and distribute oxygen for medical purposes only," the order said.
"Remaining 10 per cent capacity can be used tosupply oxygen for industrial or other purposes," it added.
A company called INOX that used to supply oxygen to Madhya Pradesh from its Nagpur-based plant, stopped the gas transportation to the state last week, which set the alarm bells ringing for the state.
After that, MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had spoken to his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray about the shortage of oxygen cylinders and the latter assured him of maintaining the supply to the state.
In the wake of rise in COVID-19 cases, Madhya Pradesh needs 110 tonnes of oxygen per day, the state public relations department had recently said.
Chouhan had also asked the oxygen plants in Madhya Pradesh to increase their production to full capacity from the present 50 to 60 per cent.
"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 had said.
On September 12, Chouhan had tweeted that the Centre has agreed to supply 50 tonnes of oxygen per day to Madhya Pradesh, which is facing an oxygen shortage amid rising COVID-19 cases.
"On my request, the Government of India today has agreed to supply 50 tonne oxygen a day, taking our oxygen availability to 180 tonne a day," Chouhan had tweeted on Saturday night.
He had also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister Piyush Goyal for their support to the state during this difficult time of COVID-19 outbreak.