Mumbai: With the rise in shortages in the oxygen supply, the Maharashtra Government has taken a crucial decision to reserve 80% supply for hospitals and 20% for industries. Units in Maharashtra have a total capacity to produce 1,210 metric tonne oxygen every day of which 40 per cent was diverted to industrial use while 60 per cent was diverted for medical purposes.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray made this announcement on Sunday during his web address to the people of Maharashtra. ‘’With the launch of MissionBeginAgain, more and more industries have restarted their operations and their demand for oxygen is rising. Similarly, there is an increase in demand from hospitals for oxygen to treat Covid-19 patients. Therefore, it has decided that the oxygen producing companies will supply 80% to hospitals and 20% for industries,’’ he noted.
Minister of Public Health Rajesh Tope hinted that the government may bring down the oxygen supply for industry use to zero if need arises. ‘’There is enough oxygen stock. A new oxygen manufacturing company will be started at Pune,’’ he said.
He informed there are 24 producers and 66 sellers of oxygen in the state. Two main suppliers comprising Inox Air Products and Linde India together produce 800 metric ton liquid oxygen every day.
The health department officer admitted that there has been a shortage of medical oxygen because of the rise in Covid-19 patients. As reported by the Free Press Journal, the department wants every government hospital to set up liquid oxygen manufacturing plants across the state. District collectors are working to set up their own oxygen plants in Osmanabad, Beed, Nandurbar and Pimpri Chinchwad.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has fixed the oxygen price at Rs 17.49 per cubic meter and its sale at the inflated rate is an offence. Further, the state government in order to streamline the Oxygen supply has formed a district-level committee comprising of departments of Food and Drug Administration, Public Health and Transport.