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COVID-19: Andhra Pradesh government seeks more oxygen to meet future demands

Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh government is exploring all options to make the required quantity of the Oxygen available as there are possibilities of increase in demand for the life saving gas in the near future in view of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

Speaking to The New Indian Express, official sources said though the Centre allocated 440 metric tonnes of oxygen a day to Andhra Pradesh, the State is getting just 330 to 340 MTs a day at present. “Though the available quantity is enough to meet the current demand, we are requesting the Centre to ensure that AP gets more Oxygen to meet the future demand,” the sources said.

The officials have appealed to the Centre to allocate more Oxygen from neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Sources reasoned that supply from the said states will come in handy to meet the demands of the Rayalaseema region, Nellore and Prakasam districts.

“We have three Oxygen suppliers in the State. We get 100 metric tonnes of Oxygen from Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, 60 MTs of oxygen from Liquinox gases in Srikakulam and 40 MTs of Oxygen from Ellenbarrie in Visakhapatnam a day,” the official explained.

“However, as all the three oxygen suppliers are located in the North Coastal Andhra districts and we are finding it difficult to transport oxygen to other parts of the State, particularly to the Rayalaseema region, which is far away, and we are urging the Centre to allocate the required oxygen from Bellary in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,” he added.

The Centre allocated more than 80 MTs of oxygen from Angul in Odisha to Andhra Pradesh, but the official sources said they are facing transportation problems due to lack of required number of tankers.

“We are exploring all options as there will be more demand in the days to come and the oxygen we are getting now may not be enough. Thus, we are urging the Centre to supply Oxygen from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka,” he added.