Chandigarh, Apr 21 (PTI) The Centre on Wednesday increased the quota of oxygen supply to Haryana after a request by the state, even as the state government denied allegations that its official had stopped the supply of oxygen to Delhi from a plant in Faridabad.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had urged Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to increase the oxygen supply quota, which was fixed at 80 metric tonne per day by the Centre, to at least to 120 MT, while pointing to a sharp surge in coronavirus cases in Haryana.
Later in the evening, Home and Health Minister Anil Vij said that as per the revised allocation plan for Haryana issued by the Centre on Wednesday, the state has been allocated 107 MT of oxygen.
Vij, in a tweet, said that the state would get 80 MT of oxygen from Air Liquide Panipat, 7 MT from Jindal Steel Ltd Hisar and 20 MT from Inox Barotiwala, HP.
There has been a sudden increase in oxygen requirement in hospitals -- both in government and private sectors -- in Haryana, particularly in the districts falling in the National Capital Region, state government officials said.
The state government denied allegations by several hospitals in Delhi on Wednesday that it was not allowing vendors to supply oxygen to them. It also denied Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's allegation that an official of the Haryana government stopped oxygen supply to Delhi from a plant in Faridabad.
''No supply has been stopped to Delhi, this is not true,'' Haryana's Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan told PTI.
Faridabad Deputy Commissioner Dr Garima Mittal denied allegations that oxygen supply to Delhi had been stopped from a plant in Faridabad.
''There is absolutely nothing like that. Some storage tankers of the company are reaching Faridabad plant from Meerut and once they reach, as usual, they will fill and supply. No one in the administration has hampered anything,'' Mittal told PTI.
Vardhan said that the Faridabad plant supplies to 32 hospitals, of which 25 are in Delhi.
A state government statement, meanwhile, said that media reports regarding Faridabad district administration taking over control of the plant were ''malicious, false and baseless''.
''Oxygen from this plant has been interrupted due to some technical reason, hence the reports hold no merit. Supply is likely to be restored soon,'' the statement said.
It further said that allocation of liquid medical oxygen produced in various plants in north India is decided by the Centre.
''The Haryana government is fully committed that the resources are optimally utilised in the interest of the nation and patients in general,'' it said.
Vardhan, meanwhile, also said what is happening in north India because of the great surge in cases is that the number of patients requiring oxygen support has gone up.
Referring to Haryana, he said oxygen plants in the state have a capacity of 270 MT, out of which the Centre has fixed allocations for Delhi at 140 MT.
Vardhan said that given the sudden spurt in oxygen demand due to an increase in coronavirus patients, many hospitals in Gurgaon and Faridabad were left with low supplies.
Haryana, which last year registered a peak with over 3,000 cases per day, is now reporting over 7,000 cases for the past few days.
On Wednesday, the state recorded the biggest single-day jump in COVID infections with 9,623 cases and record 45 fatalities.
Earlier in the day, Vij had alleged that a tanker carrying medical oxygen for COVID patients in hospitals, which was going from Panipat to Faridabad, was ''looted'' by the Delhi government and said all oxygen tankers will now move with a police escort.
Vij also said given the increased demand for oxygen due to a surge in coronavirus cases, Haryana can spare the supply for others only after the state meets its own demand. PTI SUN AAR AAR