TN CM urges PM to halt diversion of oxygen to AP, Telangana

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Chennai, Apr 25 (PTI) Eighty metric tonnes of liquid oxygen has been diverted to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and this should be halted in view of increase in oxygen demand, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Oxygen allotment for Tamil Nadu under the national plan is 'inadequate' and 'wrong' and the diversion of oxygen could lead to a 'major crisis,' he said.

The medical oxygen requirement is on the rise due to high level of oxygen dependant active COVID-19 cases and there is hence a need to ensure adequate oxygen availability in Tamil Nadu, he said.

The state government is taking all efforts to reduce the positive cases but considering the current trends, TN would require 450 MTs (Metric Tonnes) shortly.

And, it would be more than the state's production capacity of 400 MTs, the Chief Minister said in a letter to Prime Minister Modi.

As compared to the maximum active cases of around 58,000 during the previous surge in 2020, the active caseload has already crossed one lakh, Palaniswami pointed out adding this has increased the oxygen demand.

When this was the scenario, the allocation for Tamil Nadu under the latest National Medical Oxygen allotment plan has however been fixed at 220 MTs (Metric Tonnes).

Based on this 'wrong allotment,' 80 MTs of liquid oxygen has been diverted from the manufacturing facilities located at Sriperumbudur near here to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

'This is based on the wrong position that the existing oxygen consumption in TN is lower than the manufacturing capacity.' The oxygen consumption in Tamil Nadu has already reached 310 MTs as against the 'inadequate allotment' of only 220 MTs, he said citing the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisations (PESO) data on consumption.

Also, the states to which the allotment has been made have lower active cases than Tamil Nadu and have major steel industries too within their territory or close to their states.

'Hence, the diversion from Sriperumbudur plant which supplies to Chennai city with the second biggest caseload in south India seems to have no justification. This needs to be immediately corrected.' Tamil Nadu never imposed any restrictions so far and is always ready to support other States. However, such mandatory diversion of liquid oxygen from TN 'can lead to major crisis' in Chennai and other districts.

'Hence, I request that diversion of 80 KL (Kilo Litres) from Sriperumbudur plant, in Tamil Nadu may immediately be cancelled.'PTI VGN SS PTI PTI