Haryana unable to lift full oxygen quota from Odisha, more tankers being arranged: Anil Vij

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Chandigarh, May 4 (PTI) Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij Tuesday said the state was unable to lift its full quota of oxygen from Odisha due to a shortage of tankers, and that the state government was arranging more tankers to address the issue.

Vij, who also holds the Home portfolio, said as against the present daily requirement of 300 metric tonne of medical oxygen in the state, it was getting 252 MT from various plants including in Panipat, Hisar and Odisha.

'Out of this too, we are not able to lift our full quota from the plant in Odisha because we are not getting tankers. The ones we have, we are sending these by air too (to be refilled with oxygen). A day before we dispatched 10 of these by air, some others were being dispatched through (special) trains,' Vij told reporters here after chairing the State level Covid Monitoring Committee meeting.

He said it was decided in the meeting that the state government will arrange more tankers at the earliest from wherever it can.

The state has recently seen a surge in Covid-19 cases as well as fatalities.

There has been a surge in demand for medical oxygen in the state, with the Haryana hospitals also witnessing patient load from neighbouring Delhi, and elsewhere.

There have been reports from a few parts of the state including Manesar and Faridabad, where long queues of people are seen each day to refill their oxygen cylinders from plants.

Attendants or relatives of many patients claim that some private hospitals tell them to bring their own oxygen cylinders as a backup.

Congress MLA from Faridabad NIT Assembly constituency, Neeraj Sharma, on Tuesday alleged that some ruling BJP leaders were trying to exert pressure on Faridabad district administration to get some oxygen cylinders allocated for their closed ones, even as common people wait for hours in long queues to get their cylinders refilled.

“I have also written to the Chief Minister in this regard,” he told reporters in Faridabad.

However, Sharma's claims were trashed by the local BJP leaders in Faridabad.

Meanwhile, Minister Vij in the meeting also reviewed the situation in the wake of lockdown currently imposed in the state to curb the spread of Covid-19. In the meeting, Vij said that the officials have been directed to make a roster for grocery stores, pharmacy shops and others selling essential items in the state.

All such shops should be allowed to open on a rotation basis, not daily, he said.

Also, the rules formulated by the government should be adhered to and hotels, gyms, clubs and restaurants should be completely closed, he said, according to an official statement. PTI SUN VSD TIR TIR