Two O2 plants malfunction, Karnataka to face shortage

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Bengaluru: With the ‘power outage issue’ and other ‘technical glitches’, Karnataka will see a 20 per cent drop in oxygen supply for the next two days after production was hit at two manufacturing plants in Bellari district, government officials said.

 Worrying factor is that as per the data released by all districts on Sunday late night, demand to seek Oxygen supply as of now stands at over 885 MTs and reduction of 220 MTs is expected to create stress on supplies especially to those hospitals which use small cylinders to supply Oxygen to patients across the state.

If one were to take Bengaluru’s demand which stood at 308 MTs on May 21 and it shot up to 340 MTs on May 22, the 20 per cent reduction supplies would amount to around 70 MTs in Bengaluru alone.

In an SOS message sent to all Deputy Commissioners and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner, the Chief Secretary, by senior IAS officer and state nodal officer for Oxygen supplies, Munish Moudgil said that oxygen production has reduced by 220 tonnes.

He said that there is a ‘crisis’ in oxygen availability as 220 tonnes production has reduced in Bellary.

“It is likely to stabilise by Wednesday morning. Therefore for the next two days, there is likely to be a reduction of 20 per cent supply per day to all districts and BBMP. Manage your oxygen usage carefully.

Inform all hospitals and refillers,” Moudgil said in his SOS message issued to DCs and BBMP officials.

Responding to a barrage of queries, Moudgil, told reporters that there is no need to be ‘panicky’ at this juncture.

 “We have adequate supply to meet this situation and more is arriving as we speak,” he said and added that all that is produced and supplied is consumed in the state.

Replying to a query, he said that they were optimising the use of Oxygen everywhere and hospitals need to use their buffer stocks during this hour of crisis.

Earlier this week, Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar who is also in-charge of monitoring Oxygen supplies across the state had told reporters that the union government had given its in-principle nod to use oxygen produced in plants in Karnataka for the state itself. Meanwhile, a senior government officer told IANS that the ‘crisis’ was manageable as there is a huge difference between several districts that demand more oxygen than they actually require.