Mumbai: City's oxygen quota being diverted to Thane, Navi Mumbai, says BMC
(Photo by AFP)

The diversion of Mumbai's quota of liquid medical oxygen, currently in high demand for COVID-19 patients, to neighbouring Navi Mumbal and Thane has led to its "short supply" in some hospitals here, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has claimed.

BMC's Additional Commissioner P Velrasu has demanded that local administration officials be deployed at the refilling facilities of two companies in Navi Mumbai to monitor and ensure smooth supply of the life-saving gas in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

He wrote a letter last week to Konkan divisional commissioner Annasaheb Misal, claiming that the diversion of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) had led to multiple distress calls of its "short supply" in some hospitals and on one occasion, patients were shifted to other medical facilities.

The Maharashtra government has fixed a quota of the liquid medical oxygen for Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and other areas in the MMR, considering the huge increase in its demand due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the letter said.

"It has been observed that the supply of LMO received for Mumbai quota has been diverted to Navi Mumbal and Thane region from common suppliers," the BMC said in the letter, which was also marked to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner.

In spite of the allocation of LMO quota, its availability at re-fillers is decreased for the BMC by more than 50 per cent of the available quota, it said.

The BMC said the the supply of LMO should be as per the quota fixed for a particular region.

It also requested to deploy adeputy collector and a tehsildar (revenue officer) at the refilling facilities of two companies in Navi Mumbai area, to monitor the supply and ensure smooth delivery of LMO, as per the allocated quota.

"This will certainly help in reducing the distress calls from hospitals and also avoid forceful transfer of patients or loss of human life due to unavailability of medical oxygen," the civic body said in the letter.

The letter said the BMC-run hospitals receive some liquid medical oxygen in jumbo tanks and a part of the LMO is diverted to re fillers, who in-turn provide filled cylinders to the civic medical facilities.

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