Maharashtra requests Centre to enhance state’s medical oxygen quota by at least 200 MT

Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte has written to Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba requesting that the state’s allocated quota of liquid medical oxygen is increased by at least 200 MT. Kunte stated that Covid cases are continuously rising in 16 districts and there is a growing demand for oxygen.

In his letter dated May 3, Kunte highlighted that at present there are 6,63,758 active Covid cases in the state, with 78,884 patients requiring medical oxygen, including 24,787 who are in ICUs.

Moreover, in 16 districts — Palghar, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur, Nandurbar, Beed, Parbhani, Hingoli, Amravati, Buldhana, Wardha, Gadchiroli and Chandrapur — the number of Covid cases and the demand for oxygen is on the rise, he added.

“I assure you that we are taking oxygen audit in every district to contain demand in every possible manner. However, considering this situation of rising medical oxygen demand, I request you that present allocation of the State be enhanced by at least 200 MT,” said Kunte.

He also suggested that the allocation should be increased in locations from which it is easier to transport the oxygen. “This allocation may be enhanced at locations convenient to the State. Otherwise earlier allocation from RINL (Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited), Vizag and Jindal Steel Plant, Angul, Odisha remains on paper only,” he wrote.

“My request is to enhance allocation from Jamnagar, Gujarat from current 125 MT/Day to 225 MT/Day. Similarly, allocation from Bhilai may be increased to 230 MT from current 130 MT. These geographically close locations will reduce turnaround time of oxygen tankers, which are limited in number,” Kunte added.

On Friday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in his address to the state, had said that Maharashtra’s oxygen production capacity is 1,270 MT, which includes major and small producers. Besides, the state is getting 100 MT each from Gujrat, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh. Although the Centre has fixed a quota of 1,814 MT of oxygen for the state, around 1,650 MT of oxygen is being made available to Maharashtra, CM had said.

Kunte further said that it is also learnt that the union government is getting ISO tankers from Singapore, Dubai and other locations abroad, besides oil companies to facilitate liquid medical oxygen transport. “I request you to allocate at least 10 LMO tankers to Maharashtra to enable us lifting of GoI allocated LMO quota from Steel Plant at Angul via RoRo,” he stated.