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48 new oxygen plants to come up in Punjab

These will cumulatively produce 67 MT a day; at present, the state requires a daily supply of 301.4 metric tonnes

The Punjab government has identified 48 sites for the installation of Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants in all districts. Civil and electricity work has been completed at a few sites.

These oxygen plants are based on ‘Pressure Swing Adsorption technique’ which takes oxygen from the atmosphere. They can cumulatively generate 36,000 litres of oxygen per minute (LPM) or 67 MT a day, providing for several hundreds of patients.

The plants are basically funded by the Centre while state governments have to prepare the groundwork.

The Ministry of health and Family Welfare, Government of India, in its recent letter had mentioned that considering the importance and urgency of the matter, and further deliberated in consultation with all the states/UTs, executing agencies and all other stakeholders, the first list of 72 sites (with 500 & 1,000 LMP plants) in various states/UTs has been finalised for installation of PSA plants. The letter says that all-out efforts may be made to ensure that these PSA plants are installed and commissioned before May 31.

Most of these plants will be installed in the premises or close to civil hospitals and government medical colleges. Punjab at present requires a daily supply of 301.4 metric tonnes of oxygen including 122 MT for 5,494 patients in L-2 facility, 135.7 MT for 2,689 patients in L-3 facility and 16.5 MT for 926 suspected Covid patients. The state needs around 27 MT oxygen for non-Covid cases daily.

In the first phase, Bathinda, Sangrur and Patiala districts have been selected for installation of these oxygen plants, which will be installed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which has developed the PSA technique. The infrastructure will be constructed by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) as per the directions of the Centre. State governments will identify the sites and provide other facilities.

The capacity of these 48 plants will range between 100 LPM oxygen generation to 1,000 LPM. The state government has appointed nodal officers in every district of the state for executing these plants.

Sangrur Additional Deputy Commissioner Anomol Singh Dhaliwal, who is nodal officer for Sangrur district’s PSA plants where three plants would be installed, said that they have already completed the civil work.

He said that in Sangrur Civil Hospital, they have L-2 facility with 120 beds and this plant would be able to serve most of the patients there. Though the district is getting sufficient supply of oxygen from the state government currently, such plants are a boon in case of any emergency, he added.

In Sangrur, three plants will be installed at the district civil hospital, sub-divisional hospitals in Malerkotla and Moonak. While the capacity of the Sangrur and Malerkotla plants would be 1,000 LPM, the Moonak plant will have a capacity of 200 LPM.

In Bathinda, five plants will be installed including four with 1,000 LPM and one with 200 LPM oxygen generation.

In Patiala, seven plants will be installed with 6,200 LPM capacity including four at Rajindra Medical College and Hospital.

NHAI Jalandhar head Hitesh Mittal said that different offices of NHAI in the state are looking after different districts as they are given four districts including Kapurthala, Ropar, Hoshiarpur etc. where they will get the civil work done at the site where the plant is to be set up. “Our districts have not come in the first phase but we are working on infrastructure development where the plants are to be installed,” said Mittal.

In L-2, L-3 facilities, patients with moderate and severe symptoms, respectively, are admitted. As per government norms, oxygen supply to the states will be calculated at the rate of 10 litres per minute oxygen supply to patients in L-2, and 24 litres per minute in L-3.

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