The public sector enterprises have stepped in efforts in a massive operation to ensure steady oxygen supply and help the central government in its battle against the surging second COVID-19 wave.
Steel companies, engineering units and state-run Railways have all come together to fill the oxygen gap and help save lives. According to ToI, several PSUs have also added hospital beds and enhanced capacities in their medical units to help treat the COVID patients.
Notedly, the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has ramped up production of liquid oxygen (LMO) from 500 metric tonnes in the second week of April to about 1,100 metric tonnes per day from its plants at Bhilai, Rourkela, Bokaro, Durgapur and Burnpur. It has also loaded 950 metric tonnes of LMO on 14 oxygen express trains for various parts of the country from plants at Bokaro, Rourkela and Durgapur. Moreover, SAIL is looking to add additional 2,500 hospital beds with oxygen facility near its plants across the country for COVID patients.
The Indian Railways, as per reports, have so far run 27 Oxygen Express trains carrying 1,585 metric tonnes of LMO. Six more are on the way for various destinations with 463 metric tonnes of LMO. Engineering and manufacturing PSU Bhel us supplying medical oxygen in Bhopal and Haridwar, while RINL has supplied 1,300 metric tonnes of LMO.
GAIL is setting up pressure swing absorption (PSA) medical oxygen-generation plants at 10 places, and the IOC is supplying oxygen to Delhi. It has also converted unused LNG tankers into oxygen carriers and is diverting new LNG tankers for oxygen supply.
Furthermore, oil PSUs are setting up PSA medical oxygen generation plants across 93 locations in the country. Coal India has ramped up emergency utility equipment with over 1,400 oxygen cylinders. Other PSUs which have also been helping the government in its efforts, include MDL, PFC, HAL and BEL amongst others.