BJP seeks probe into delay in installation of Oxygen plants sanctioned by Modi govt in 2020

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Jammu: BJP here on Tuesday held delay in installation of 37 oxygen generation plants by UT administration responsible for “many avoidable deaths’’ due to Covid-19 in Jammu and demanded a thorough probe into the matter.

These oxygen plants were sanctioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Government in August 2020, said BJP spokesperson Brigadier (Veteran) Anil Gupta here.

“There is no denying the fact that the people of Jammu region have suffered due to lack of timely oxygen supply resulting in many avoidable deaths,’’ he said in a statement issued here under the title “The fact sheet regarding state of oxygen plants in Jammu’’. Bharatiya Janata Party fully sympathises with the aggrieved families and shares their sorrow, it added.

The second wave of Corona was deadlier as it spread rapidly and affected all segments of the society, it said, adding that the same can be gauged from the fact that while on April 1 there were only 100 cases which rose to over 1200 on May 1. However, at at a time of crisis of such magnitude when the need of the hour was to fight the pandemic unitedly, certain elements chose to play a blame game which was purely a ‘Modi Vidroh’ than ‘Corona Vidroh’, it regretted.  

Referring to accusations blaming PM Modi for the shortage of Oxygen in the region, the statement said that a few went to the extent of accusing Modi Government of ignoring Jammu at the cost of Kashmir, Brig Gupta said, adding that though every individual enjoys the freedom to express his/her views, there is a need to set the factual record straight.

Pointing out that during the first phase of corona, Jammu had only three oxygen plants in Government Medical College, he said that 37 oxygen plants were sanctioned by Modi government in  July-August 2020 so as to ensure that adequate oxygen supply is available at least in each District Hospital. Even tenders worth Rs 235 crores were floated to set up 37 oxygen plants in different hospitals and these would be made functional in three to four months, he added.

“Alas! It did not happen,” he said, adding “it is this lackadaisical attitude that was responsible for the shortage of oxygen when the second wave took the administration by surprise and emergency measures were taken to beef up the oxygen plants”. 

BJP demands a thorough probe for this lapse which has proved very costly, asserted Brig Gupta.

As regards ignoring Jammu, Brig Gupta denied the allegation and said,” as on date in addition to the three functional plants in GMC which pre-existed 15 more oxygen plants have been made operational. These include 9 in Jammu District, 3 in Kathua and one each in Samba, Reasi and Rajouri. In addition,04 German plants are being installed in Jammu District with 02 in GMC and one each in SSH and Maternity Hospital Gandhi Nagar.” It has also been learnt from reliable sources that 24 plants are in the pipeline out of which 21 will be installed and functional by end June. A low- capacity oxygen plant is already under installation in Mandi. In addition,ERA is also installing 15 Manifold Oxygen Plants at CHC/Trauma/Emergency hospitals level. This, hopefully, will meet the oxygen requirement of patients closer to their places and they don’t have to rush to DH/GMC.