Patnaik calls PM, promises help to other states meet oxygen need to fight against COVID-19

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 22 (PTI) Amid reports of shortage of medical oxygen for treatment of COVID-19 patients in different parts of the country, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Thursday extended all cooperation including ramping up of oxygen production to assist the needy states.

Patnaik made this offer while speaking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over telephone earlier in the day.

'It is a war like situation and Odisha will extend all cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 at the national level including ramping up oxygen production to assist other states in this emergency situation,' Patnaik told Prime Minister.

Patnaik also talked on the prevailing coronavirus situation across the country, a statement released by the Chief Ministers Office said.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal praised the Odisha government and chief minister Naveen Patnaik for supply of medical oxygen to the national capital.

Taking to twitter, Kejriwal said, 'Recd a call from Sh Naveen patnaik ji. He has assured complete support to Delhi in facilitating lifting of Delhis quota of oxygen from Odisha.

he has put a spl offer on the job. Thank u sooo much Sir.

Delhi is indeed grateful.' Apart from managing its own oxygen requirements, the Odisha government has also provided oxygen to Delhi to help it meet the crisis situation.

Odisha has around 70 industries many of which produce industrial oxygen. Rourkela Steel Plant,Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) at Angul and IFFCO Ltd in Paradeep are prominent among them.

Keeping in view the surge in COVID cases, the Odisha government is encouraging them to produce medical oxygen to maintain supply here and also provide them to the other needy states.

Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) had earlier announced that it has sufficient capacity to produce more medical oxygen for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The RSP, an unit of SAIL, has stepped up its liquid medical oxygen (LMO) generation so that it can supply it to hospitals across the country during the crisis.

While the gaseous oxygen it produces is being used for sustenance of the plant processes, the entire production of liquid oxygen is being provided for medical use, the RSP in a statement had said recently.

The three air separation units of RSP's oxygen plant is producing oxygen in gaseous form for use in the making of hot metal and steel. The LMO is being supplied to Ispat General Hospital of RSP, it said.

Since April 2020, the oxygen plants of RSP along with Linde India ltd has supplied more than 7,740 tonnes of LMO to Odisha, as well as other states to meet the requirement of this vital lifesaving item, the statement said.

Though tanker availability is a bottleneck, 572 tonnes of LMO has been supplied to Odisha and other states so far this month, it said.

In a related development, the Odisha based Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) has come forward to lend a helping hand and stated that it has a stock of over 500 tonnes of liquid oxygen at its Angul plant and is waiting for the users to take them on first come first serve basis.

The steel major has assured Angul district administration of supplying medical oxygen for treatment of COVID-19 patients.

In a letter, the JSPL unit head assured the district collector of the companys full support to address the emergency situation of COVID-19 pandemic. Responding to the gesture, the district collector thanked the company for the same.

JSPL Chairman Naveen Jindal had earlier announced that the company will supply 50 to 100 tonnes of medical oxygen from its Odisha and Chhhattishgarh units every day. PTI AAM SNS SNS