Chandigarh, May 15 (PTI) The Punjab government on Saturday said it will demand additional oxygen tankers from the Centre to speed up the supply chain of the life-saving gas in the state.
Besides, Punjab has also expedited the process of procuring its own oxygen tankers from different parts of the country and abroad, said Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan.
Mahajan stated this after chairing a meeting to review the availability of oxygen and taking stock of the ongoing initiatives to check the spread of coronavirus here, according to an official statement.
Briefing the present status of the supply chain of oxygen to Punjab from different parts of the country, Principal Secretary (Transport) K Siva Prasad said efforts have also been intensified to bring oxygen tankers from Belgium and Australia.
'Hopefully, the supply of oxygen tankers from Australia and Belgium will reach Punjab soon,' he added.
Rahul Tiwari, who is supervising the Oxygen Control Room, said Punjab's first oxygen express train left for Bokaro in Jharkhand on Saturday morning to pick up its 80 metric tonne (MT) quota of oxygen, which would further strengthen the stock of life-saving medical supplies in the state.
He said the services of state-owned Markfed were being used to further speed up the process of oxygen procurement and ensure that there was no shortage of the life-saving gas in the state.
Principal Secretary, Water Supply and Sanitation, Jaspreet Talwar, while sharing the district-wise information of Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants, said a total of 44 PSA plants would be set up in Punjab at a cost of Rs 4.71 crore for which several NGOs and big companies have come forward to help the state government in this endeavour.
Regarding the status of oxygen concentrators in the state, the chief secretary was informed that Punjab has around 1,060 concentrators at present, which were being distributed in the districts as per the requirement, while more concentrators would be available soon and would be sent to the districts as per the need.
Mahajan directed the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to ensure uninterrupted power supply to all the hospitals in which COVID patients were being treated.
She ordered the PSPCL to also ensure uninterrupted power supply to the new hospitals, which have been set up or were being set up by the NGOs.
Directions were also issued to the Public Works Department (PWD) to provide more basic facilities to the three government colleges-cum-hospitals in the state and the Mohali hospital, which has been turned into an exclusive Covid care facility. PTI CHS VSD SNE