Mamata writes to Modi on delay in supply of oxygen-making plants, points to downward revision of number and seeks fair quota

Published : May 14, 2021 22:02 IST

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Photo: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged the Centre to arrive at a decision regarding the supply of PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) plants to hospitals in different States. In a sternly worded letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, dated May 14, Mamata alleged that the Centre was repeatedly “downwardly” revising the PSA quota for West Bengal.

Pointing out that PSA plants are meant to enable hospitals “to make oxygen out of the air in the environment” and would be a “great apparatus for a hospital to have in the present situation, Mamata wrote, “For quite some time now GOI apparently has been contemplating to supply PSA plants to hospital in states. But the matter is not progressing much. Priorities are being fixed and re-fixed, implementing agencies (DRDO, NHAI) are being settled and unsettled, quota for West Bengal is being downwardly revised and further downwardly revised every day. We were told we shall get 70 PSA plants, now we are told that we shall get 4 in the first phase with no clarity on the remaining PSA plants.” Alleging that Bengal’s own supplementary PSA-installation plans were “getting disturbed because of the “indecisiveness at Delhi,” Mamata requested the Prime Minister “to kindly get the priorities, implementing agencies and quota fixed, justly, fairly, and quickly.”

Mamata also referred to an earlier letter she had written to Modi on the urgent requirement of medical oxygen in the State and claimed that “results on that front are generally awaited”. On May 7, Mamata had written to Modi requesting immediate allocation of at least 550 MT of medical oxygen (MO) per day as against the Centre’s allocation of 308 MT per day. “…Government of India has increased allocation of MO (medical oxygen) to other States, from the total production in West Bengal, during the last 10 days from 230 MT to 360 MT per day, keeping the allocation for West Bengal constant at 308 MT per day despite its requirement being 550 MT per day,” Mamata had written.

Meanwhile, the COVID situation continued to worsen, with new cases almost touching 21,000 on May 14 (20,846). The total active cases were 1,33,371, and the number of deaths within 24 hours was 136. For the eleventh straight day more than 100 people in the State died of COVID in a single day. The highest single day COVID spike was recorded in North 24 Parganas (4,197), followed by Kolkata (3,955).

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