Haryana asks Centre to hike oxygen quota, denies Delhi govt charge that supply stopped from plant

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Chandigarh, Apr 21 (PTI) In the wake of a sharp surge in coronavirus cases in the state, the Haryana government on Wednesday urged the Centre to increase the quota of oxygen supply, even as it denied allegations that a state government official had stopped its supply to Delhi from a plant in Faridabad.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar spoke to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in this regard, the state government officials said.

Haryana has demanded that the quota of medical oxygen for the state, which has been fixed at 80 metric tonne per day by the Centre, should be raised at least to 120 MT, keeping in view the sharp surge in cases in the state.

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, the 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 from the Faridabad plant supply go to 32 hospitals, of which 25 are in Delhi.

The chief secretary, 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 had fixed allocations for Delhi at 140 MT and 80 MT for Haryana.

Officials said that Haryana, until recently, had allocation of 118 MT daily, which had been revised, but now with increasing COVID cases in the state there was a sudden spurt in demand from the hospitals in the state.

Vardhan said that given the sudden spurt in oxygen demand with an increase in coronavirus patients, many hospitals in Gurugram and Faridabad, both cities which cater to patients from Delhi and other parts of the country, were left with low supplies.

Haryana, which had last year registered a peak with over 3,000 cases per day, is now reporting over 7,000 cases for past few days.

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 VSD AAR AAR AAR