Mumbai: Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray explained Maharashtra’s preparedness for Cyclone Tauktae over a video conference chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The government has put coastal areas on high alert and emphasised on uninterrupted power and oxygen supply to hospitals, with back-ups on standby, so that the treatment of patients can continue uninterrupted.
Patients in jumbo Covid care centres and people in ‘kuccha’ dwellings have been relocated. The Mantralaya control room is in sync with district control rooms while the government has deployed police and other officials and has ensured smooth production and supply of oxygen.
“We are prepared for this cyclone. The state government has taken a slew of measures to avert damage. We have in place a back-up electricity supply plan, particularly in Covid hospitals,” he said.
“Patients should not suffer because of sudden power cuts and other issues related to the cyclone. Besides, jumbo Covid care centres in low-lying areas must not be submerged, so the local corporation has been asked to prepare to drain out the excess rainwater and protect the centre,” said Thackeray. He further noted that patients at some centres have already been moved to other safe locations in anticipation of waterlogging in Covid care centres in Mumbai and Konkan region.
Thackeray said there could be disruption in the oxygen supply due to the cyclone. However, he told the Union Home Minister, the government had alerted the oxygen producers and suppliers to be prepared to tackle the situation and ensure smooth supply.
The CM reiterated that the local authorities would coordinate with oxygen supplies in coastal areas and ensure smooth transportation. Police have been deployed to streamline the oxygen supply during the cyclone.
In the coastal region, nearly 900 metric tonnes of oxygen are manufactured, including 230MTs at JSW plant, 120MTs at Dolvi plant, 245MTs at Linde Taloja and 120 MTs at Inox Raigad.
"If any oxygen plant is disturbed due to the cyclone, alternative arrangements will be made to hospitals. We will ensure that no hospital suffers from lack of oxygen at a crucial time. Apart from oxygen, the drugs and other medical equipment like PPE kits will be supplied on time to places in the coastal region,” said Thackeray.
Instructions have been issued to the district collectors of Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Raigad, Palghar and the Mumbai Municipal Commissioner regarding the safety of oxygen-producing projects. Arrangements have been made to provide at least 12 to 16 hours oxygen back-up in cyclone affected districts. 160MTs of oxygen from Jamnagar will reach by tankers by tomorrow. As there is a possibility of cyclone in Jamnagar on May 18, if a problem were to arise there, reserve stocks can be ordered from Dolvi, Murbad, Taloja and Bhilai.
Pune has 30 to 40MTs of extra oxygen reserves. In case of a problem, 60MTs from Angul and additional reserves from Bhilai will be procured. Excess stocks can also be arranged from projects that are in good condition.