To meet its growing requirement for medical oxygen, the Mumbai municipal corporation will set up 16 oxygen generating plants in hospitals at a cost around ₹90 crore.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is hopeful that once the plants become operational, they will provide 43 metric tonnes of oxygen per day at a cost that will be half of the cost of jumbo cylinders.
Tenders have been floated and the 16 oxygen generating plants are expected to become operational in 12 hospitals of Mumbai within a month.
India reported a record 3,32,730 fresh cases on Friday (April 23), going part the US in terms of the highest number of cases reported in a single day. Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi remain the worst affected states. Maharashtra on Friday reported 66,836 new infections and 773 deaths.
Maharashtra has also been reporting shortages of oxygen and life-saving drugs.
On Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s demand, Indian Railway’s “Oxygen Express” carried seven tankers of liquid medical oxygen from Vishakhapattnam to Nagpur on Friday evening. The first such train started from Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) in Visakhapatnam and reached Nagpur (Maharashtra) on Friday at 8.30pm.
Maharashtra’s sugar mills to produce oxygen
In response to a request from NCP leader Sharad Pawar, sugar mills in Maharashtra have decided to produce oxygen at their plants to meet the ever-growing demand for oxygen from hospitals in several states.
“At least 60 factories are ready to import 5 litre and 10 litre oxygen cylinders from Taiwan. This is a comparatively low-cost solution that could prove useful for patients at home who do not require ventilators,” said Pawar at a meeting attended by Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope and Cabinet minister Jayant Patil.
Sassoon Hospital to set up its own plant as well
Meanwhile, Maharashtra’s largest government-run Sassoon General Hospital in Pune has decided to commission its own oxygen generating plant.
The plant will have the capacity to generate 2,000 litres of oxygen per minute, thus meeting the needs of at least 200 COVID patients at a time.