Guwahati, Apr 26 (PTI) Assam Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary on Monday said that there is no shortage of oxygen in Assam, but still the state government has decided to stop supply of the life-saving gas to industries.
After interacting with representatives of oxygen plants of the state, Patowary also asked them to ramp up production and enhance the capacity to be future-ready for any emergency situation.
Several states of the country are facing a shortage of oxygen when COVID-19 cases are surging.
'There is no shortage of oxygen and the Assam Government as on today is in a comfortable position with the current daily requirement of oxygen,' he said in a statement.
Patowary stated that the entire oxygen production will go only to medical college hospitals and other medical establishments with the supply of the gas being discontinued to industries.
The minister directed the authorities of District Industries and Commerce Centres to coordinate with the manufacturers and to promptly address the issues that may arise.
He also directed the industry department to prepare a roadmap in collaboration with the oxygen manufacturers to manage any crisis situation.
The minister said that profit should not be the motive for oxygen manufacturers and asked them to render service to people.
He assured them full government support and the manufacturers agreed to extend all cooperation, the statement said.
At present there are six oxygen manufacturing units in Assam with an installed capacity of 61 MT daily along with ample storage capacity, it said.
In addition, the Assam Government has installed 10 oxygen separators in medical colleges and hospitals across the state and 10 more will start functioning within a month.
Following this, Assam will be self-sufficient in case of oxygen requirement in the health sector as per todays scenario, the statement added.
Patowary also asked the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited to ensure smooth power supply to oxygen manufacturing units for continuous production of the gas.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today tweeted: 'Held a meeting regarding the #COVID19 situation with officials of Transport & Industries Dept along with Min Shri @cmpatowary. I have asked officials to ensure smooth transport of essential items, adherence to COVID guidelines and to conduct screening at state borders.' PTI ESB NN NN