Minister for Large and Medium Industries Jagadish Shettar has said that Union Minister for Commerce Industry Piyush Goyal has responded positively to the request by the State government to utilise the oxygen produced within the State and the Centre will give the required permission soon.
Addressing presspersons in Hubballi on Thursday after holding a review meeting on COVID-19 situation, Mr. Shettar said that the Union government has responded positively to the State’s request and increased the oxygen quota from 965 tonnes to 1,015 tonnes now.
“The State is receiving oxygen from Odisha and Jamshedpur, while it [State] is producing 1,100 tonnes of oxygen at various places, including Jindal in Ballari. We are hopeful of getting the Centre’s permission to utilise the oxygen produced in the State [within the State itself],” he said.
The Minister said that the State government earlier requested the Centre seeking an increase in oxygen quota from 1,015 tonnes to 1,400 tonnes and had written a letter in this regard.
Mr. Shettar said that the Centre has given 180 tonnes oxygen received from Bahrain and Kuwait to the State and the latter will receive another six to eight tankers of oxygen. He said that an ISO container will be reaching the State on May 16 and it will be sent to Hubballi-Dharwad.
The Minister, who is also in-charge of oxygen supply, said that a five-member team of senior officials has been constituted to monitor oxygen supply round the clock and consequently, there is no shortage in oxygen supply in the State.
The Minister said that the district administration has received 70 oxygen concentrators from different non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including the Deshpande Foundation. And, this apart, 80 oxygen concentrators are being given to the district from the State government and under CSR funds. They will be used in the new make-shift COVID hospital, he said.
The Minister also said that more COVID Care Centres will be set up in the taluks. Already, 600-bed COVID care centres are functioning in Hubballi-Dharwad.
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