Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 18
The center on Sunday banned the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes except in nine specified industries in view of the shortage of the essential public health commodity in several states amid a spike in COVID-19 infections.
The decision will come into effect from April 22.
In a letter to all the chief secretaries of states and the administrators of the UTs, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said, they should issue instructions to authorities concerned within their jurisdiction to take measures prohibiting the supply of oxygen for industrial purpose, except in nine industries as stated in the letter of Union Health & Family Welfare Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
Bhalla said, “I therefore urge you to issue necessary instructions to all the authorities concerned in your state to ensure compliance to the decision of Empowered Group-II and take necessary measures to prohibit supply of oxygen for industrial purposes, except those nine industries. It will help in augmenting supply for medical oxygen in the country and in saving precious lives ”.
Bhushan in his letter earlier on Sunday identified Ampoules & Vials, Pharmaceutical, Petroleum Refineries, Steel plants, Nuclear energy facilities, Oxygen Cylinder manufacturers, Waste Water treatment plants, Food and Water purification and process industries, which require uninterrupted operations of furnaces as exempted industries
In the letter, Bhalla said the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in the country and the resultant rapid demand for medical oxygen, particularly in high-burden states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala , Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan, the states and the UTs need to prioritize the use of oxygen.