BMC to set up 16 oxygen production units of its own, to combat the scarcity of oxygen
Photo by BL Soni

To combat the scarcity of oxygen supply, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Saturday said that it will set up its own oxygen production facilities in 12 civic hospitals in Mumbai.

The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has led to more lung infections which have increased the demand for oxygen amongst infected patients. Senior BMC officials have told FPJ that Mumbai has a demand of 235 metric tonnes of oxygen per day, which is steadily increasing with every passing day.

The BMC had earlier set up, oxygen production facilities at the Trauma Care hospital - Jogeshwari and Kasturba Hospital. The Kasturba facility was set up two years ago and has a capacity of producing 500 cubic metres of daily oxygen and the facility at Trauma Care was set up last year, and presently has a capacity to produce 1,740 cubic metres of oxygen.

According to BMC, a total of 16 facilities will be set up at the 12 hospitals, and these facilities will be able to extract oxygen from onsite atmospheric air, following which the air will be compressed and filtered, before supplying to the patients.

Overall, the plants will have a capacity to produce 43 metric tonnes of oxygen, per day.

Civic officials said that considering the dire need for oxygen supply a short e-tender has already been floated by the mechanical and electrical engineering department of the BMC and the facilities would be set up within one month after the work order is issued.

"Depending on the requirement, multiple oxygen plants may be set up in a single hospital, assessing the space requirement and the power supply capacity in each of the hospitals will also be important before we set up the plants," said P Velrasu - additional municipal commissioner (projects), told FPJ. Velarasu is in charge of setting the plants.

Furthermore, he added that setting up the projects will be beneficial for the BMC in the long run.

"At present, we have to rely on suppliers who provide us oxygen by refilling the cylinders, after the plants are set up we will be able able to produce our own oxygen, this will be cost-effective and will also save time," Velrasu added.

According to a statement issued by the civic body, the estimated cost of the project will be around 90 crores and the lifespan of the plant will be between 15-30 years. At present, the civic body is getting its oxygen supply through jumbo, dura, and small cylinders from two Navi Mumbai-based suppliers, however, the BMC in the statement said that after the plant is set up, the production cost would be cut down by half.

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