Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday directed oxygen producing companies to increase production of the life-saving gas and storage capacity in the state. 1,300 MT of oxygen is being produced daily and under 'Maharashtra Mission Oxygen Swavalamban', the government aims to produce 3,000 MT of oxygen per day. Under the initiative, the government has also sanctioned special incentives to industrial units.
"Oxygen generating companies should take immediate steps to increase their oxygen production and storage capacity in the state in the next three to four weeks so that we can meet the estimated oxygen requirement before the possible third wave of COVID-19," said Uddhav. He was speaking at a teleconference with representatives of some of the largest oxygen manufacturing companies in the state including Linde India Ltd, JSW Techno Project Pvt. Ltd, Inox Air Products Pvt. Ltd, etc.
Uddhav said that the co-operation of oxygen producers, distributors and suppliers was invaluable as the demand for oxygen in the second wave of COVID-19 had increased tremendously. "A third wave is expected. A new variant of coronavirus has appeared. Its lethality, its effectiveness we do not know today. But considering the potential risk, it is important to get oxygen self-sufficiency in the time you have now," he said.
The Chief Minister further appealed to carry out oxygen storage at full capacity, especially in remote areas. "We have been able to meet this challenge only because of the support you all have given in times of crisis and have been able to handle oxygen management in the state better," he said. Stating that similar cooperation should be given in future, he added that we should move forward through mutual cooperation in order to keep Maharashtra safe.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte said that objective of 'Maharashtra Mission Oxygen Swavalamban' is to make the state self-sufficient in oxygen generation. "Taking advantage of the incentives given to the entrepreneurs for this, they should set up their projects in the state especially in the rural areas. They should help in increasing the oxygen storage capacity of the state and also cooperate with the government in transporting oxygen," he said. He hoped for the cooperation of the companies on the availability of ISO tankers, increase in oxygen filling points, conversion of nitrogen carrying tankers into oxygen tankers, etc.