Flagging the 'severe crisis' over availability of medical oxygen in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and ensure it gets supplies and for the Centre to make available containers and trains to transport the life saving gas to the state.
Indicating that the death of 13 people at a government hospital near here this week was due to possible oxygen shortage, he said the availability of the gas is 'very very critical'.
In his first official communication to Modi after taking over as CM, Stalin said 'while the state is taking a number of steps to control the (covid-19) pandemic, I would like to draw your urgent attention to the severe crisis with regard to availability of medical oxygen in Tamil Nadu'.
While Tamil Nadu's daily consumption of medical oxygen was around 440 MT, it was likely to increase to 840 MT in the next two weeks, he said in the letter to Modi.
But in the National Oxygen Plan, the allocation for the state has been 220 MT and since this was 'untenable', state officials held discussions with those from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) on May 1 and 2.
While it was agreed to supply at least 476 MT of medical oxygen to the state immediately, this order has not yet been issued, he told the PM.
An emergency meeting was conducted by DPIIT officials with Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, where it was agreed that an allocation of 40 MT of oxygen will be provided to the state from INOX, Kanjikode in Kerala for at least next four days.
Further, it was agreed to supply 60 MT from a plant near here and of this, 20 MT will be provided after two days.
"In addition, to meet the medium term requirements, 120 MT will be provided from SAIL and Linde, Rourkela," Stalin said.
But the revised allotment orders are still awaited, he said.
"The availability of oxygen in Tamil Nadu is very critical and there was an unfortunate incident of 13 deaths at Chengalpattu (government hospital) two days ago."
"We request your kind intervention to get revised orders issued and provide full support to Tamil Nadu in this hour of crisis. We also request the Government of India to provide at least 20 ISO cryogenic containers and trains to transport oxygen to Tamil Nadu," Stalin urged.
He assured his full support and cooperation to the PM's 'unstinted efforts' to tackle the unprecedented pandemic situation and save the nation.