Pick pandemic-related activities for CSR: CM to industry captains

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Chennai, May 19 (PTI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday urged representatives of industries to give priority to COVID-19 related requirements like oxygen concentrators and cryogenic tanks in their corporate social responsibility initiatives in the State.

To help the government tackle the pandemic, providing oxygen concentrators, generators, cylinders, flowmeters, and cryogenic tanks should be prioritised under the CSR activities, he said.

Addressing representatives at the Secretariat in a meet, he said industries could opt to directly pay the sellers for pandemic-related procurements made by State entities - the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation, the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) and the Greater Chennai Corporation.

'I request you all to make your contribution to help people overcome the pandemic,' he said. Also, he sought contributions to the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund.

The pandemic though has mounted big pressure on the health infrastructure of the State, the frontline workers, including doctors and nurses, have taken this as a challenge and are working hard with determination, he said.

The requirement for oxygen concentrators, ventilators and life-saving drugs have gone up manifold and the government is working with dedication to procure and distribute them to hospitals, he said.

The State's oxygen allocation has been increased to 519 metric tonnes by the Centre. However, action was being taken to increase oxygen production in the State.

The government accorded priority to National Highways Authority of India and Defence Research and Development Organisation's joint initiative to set up 142 mini-oxygen production plants and 13 other similar facilities with the support of industries located in Tamil Nadu, he said.

As many 7,500 oxygen concentrators were being procured and sanction has been given to three entities to produce 15 tonnes of medical oxygen, he said.

SIPCOT has airlifted 500 cylinders from Singapore and 1,650 more were being brought through sea, he said adding arrangements were being made to make available about 500 cylinders through the Confederation of Indian Industry and Samsung.

On the vaccination front, the Chief Minister said global bids have been invited for procurement of 3.5 crore COVID vaccines.

Top executives from industries, including those from the India Cements, Bannari Amman Sugars and Saint Gobain Glass India, and representatives of industry bodies took part in the meet and several participated virtually.

In another meet with representatives of voluntary organisations and NGOs, he appealed to them to join hands with the government in tackling the pandemic.

Supply of oxygen and life-saving drugs to government hospitals, arranging vehicles for patients, creating awareness among the people on the virus and vaccine were among the numerous tasks where volunteers could pitch in, he said.

A committee of IAS officers would be set up to coordinate such work, identify requirements for support and ensure help, he said adding a 'command centre' would also be set up for the purpose.

Volunteers could pick the kind of work they preferred and go ahead with it alongside the government, he said and praised the selfless work of many to help people, offer elderly care, ensuring a dignified burial for victims of the virus who were abandoned by their kin and so on. PTI VGN NVG NVG