‘Requirement in 16 districts following spike in COVID-19 cases’
The Maharashtra government has demanded that the Centre enhance allocation of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to the State by at least 200 metric tonnes (MT) daily as its requirement in 16 districts has risen following a spike in COVID-19 cases.
In a letter addressed to Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on May 3, Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte also demanded that 10 LMO tankers be allocated to the State.
The State government has requested that the supply from Jamnagar in Gujarat be increased to 225 MT per day from the current 125 MT and from Bhilai to 230 MT per day from the current 130 MT. “These geographically close locations will reduce the turnaround time of oxygen tankers, which are limited in number,” Mr. Kunte said.
With Maharashtra continuing to face the onslaught of the second wave of COVID-19, of the 6,63,758 active cases in the State, 78,884 patients are on medical oxygen, including 24,787 in the ICUs, he said.
Mr. Kunte also said that 16 districts — Palghar, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur, Nandurbar, Beed, Parbhani, Hingoli, Amravati, Buldhana, Wardha, Gadchiroli and Chandrapur — are showing growth in cases, with oxygen requirement on the rise.
The Chief Secretary said, “Considering the rise in the demand for medical oxygen, the present allocation to the State can be enhanced by at least 200 MT. This allocation may be raised at the locations convenient to Maharashtra. Earlier allocation from RINL, Vizag, and Jindal Steel plant, Angul, Odisha, remains only on paper.”
Mr. Kunte pointed out that the Centre is getting ISO tankers from Singapore, Dubai and other foreign locations, and oil companies and the Container Corporation of India to facilitate transport of LMO.
“I request you to allocate at least 10 LMO tankers to Maharashtra to enable lifting of the allocated oxygen quota from the steel plant located at Angul [Odisha] via RoRo [roll-on/roll-off) service,” Mr. Kunte said in the letter.
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