INOX Air Products Pvt Ltd, the biggest producer of industrial and medical gases in India, has blamed gaps in the supply chain for the shortage of oxygen, particularly in Delhi and said that the situation would ease “in couple of weeks”.

“Making oxygen is easy but what’s really hard is delivering oxygen to patients,” Siddharth Jain, Director, INOX Air Products, told a media conference.

Liquid oxygen makers have been operating their plants at 120 per cent capacity for months and production capacity have been raised by 30 per cent in just 30 days, he said adding that “misinformation has been spread” on shortage of the life-saving element.

Jain said that it was “not the job of the Central government” to transport the oxygen to the States. “It is the job of the States to get the product from the plants based on the quota allocated by the Centre,” he said.

“Delhi had adequate supplies but was not able to procure it,” he stated.

Cryogenic tankers

India had some 1,200 cryogenic tankers to deliver oxygen across the country pre-Covid. This was sufficient as oxygen was delivered over a very small radius.

But as the requirements for delivering oxygen stretched to longer distances in the hinterland, more cryogenic containers were needed.

“We are in a much better position now as tankers carrying nitrogen were also allowed to move oxygen. Besides, some 40-odd cryogenic containers were imported, helping movement of oxygen over longer distances,” Jain added.