India to start installation of oxygen plants in district-wise hospital headquarters. Modi assures installation of 551 medical oxygen plants soon

India prepares to not get caught flat-footed in the face of a pandemic again, to build oxygen plants in every district

India prepares to not get caught flat-footed in the face of a pandemic again, to build oxygen plants in every district
India prepares to not get caught flat-footed in the face of a pandemic again, to build oxygen plants in every district

With the second wave of Covid pandemic and patients suffering from oxygen scarcity, the Government of India (GoI) on Sunday has allocated funds to start the installation of districtwise oxygen plants in every government hospital. Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the emergency fund allotment from PM CARES Fund for the installation of 551 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Medical Oxygen Generation Plants in every district headquarters of the country. “These plants are to be made functional as soon as possible. These oxygen plants will ensure an uninterrupted supply of oxygen in hospitals at district headquarters,” said the Prime Minister.

“In line with Prime Minister’s direction of boosting the availability of oxygen to hospitals, the PM CARES Fund has given in-principle approval for allocation of funds for installation of 551 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Medical Oxygen Generation Plants inside public health facilities in the country. PM has directed that these plants should be made functional as soon as possible. He said that these plants will serve as a major boost to oxygen availability at the district level,” said the Government of India in a statement.

Corporate Houses like Tata, ITC, Jindal and Adani were pitched in to import tankers and plants from Germany, Singapore and Saudi Arabia

These dedicated plants will be established in identified government hospitals in district headquarters in various states and union territories. The procurement will be done through Union Health Ministry. The PM CARES Fund had earlier this year allocated Rs.201.58 crores for the installation of additional 162 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Medical Oxygen Generation Plants inside public health facilities in the country

“The basic aim behind establishing PSA Oxygen Generation Plants at government hospitals in the district headquarters is to further strengthen the public health system and ensure that each of these hospitals has a captive oxygen generation facility. Such an in-house captive oxygen generation facility would address the day-to-day medical oxygen needs of these hospitals and the district. In addition, the liquid medical oxygen (LMO) would serve as a “top-up” to the captive oxygen generation. Such a system will go a long way in ensuring that government hospitals in the districts do not face sudden disruption of oxygen supplies and have access to adequate uninterrupted oxygen supply to manage the COVID-19 patients and other patients needing such support,” said Union Health Ministry.

The acute shortages of supply of oxygen due to the huge surge of patients has forced many hospitals to even approach High Courts for the streamlining of supply. There were bickering between Central Government and State governments like Delhi and Maharashtra over the oxygen supply and shortage and heated arguments in courts. Later Railways and the Indian Air Force was pressed into operation for logistics and supply of oxygen tankers and oxygen plants. Corporate houses like Tata, ITC, Jindal and Adani were pitched in to import tankers and plants from Germany, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. Several steel companies including public sector undertakings (PSUs) like BHEL, RINL were pressed into diverting their operations to produce oxygen.

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