After Banas Dairy’s successful execution of oxygen plant for Covid-19 patients at its medical college in Palanpur, the Gujarat government has now directed all dairy unions in the State to come forward and setup oxygen facilities in their respective districts.

In a circular issued on Wednesday, Gujarat’s Registrar of Cooperatives has directed all the district cooperative milk unions across the State to immediately set up oxygen plants in their respective regions.

Shamalbhai Patel, Chairman of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), told BusinessLine that all the dairy unions are positive about the initiative and have shown their readiness to fund the project.

Patel, who is also Chairman of Sabarkantha District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd (Sabar Dairy), said, “In this crisis, we need to come forward with our resources in the larger interest of our farmers. The Unions will sponsor these plants, and district authorities will identify the place.”

The district administrations will help in sourcing of technical details and equipment for the plant that uses pressure-swing adsorption (PSA) technology. The project cost ranges between ₹35-45 lakh for 480 cubic meters/day capacity.

The government circular said, “Banaskantha District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union (Banas Dairy) has set up an oxygen plant with capacity of 20 cubic meters (per hour) to quickly provide oxygen for Covid-19 patients. They are also setting up another 50-cubic meters plant. Precious lives can be saved by timely supply of oxygen to Covid-19 patients. In order to ensure adequate supplies of oxygen in across the State, you are directed to set up an oxygen plant under your Dairy union.”

Ramsinh Parmar, Chairman of Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd (Amul Dairy) looks to start the work immediately. “We are working on the estimates, equipment, timeline of execution etc. Once we finalise these aspects, the work will start immediately. The location for the plant may be Krishna hospital in Karamsad of Anand district,” Parmar said.

The Government, sources said, looks to set up these plants at the district headquarters where the government hospitals are located. “This plant needs to be set up at consumption point. So, we believe district government hospitals will be the most suited location for it,” a source said.

Commenting on the dairy union’s preparedness, RS Sodhi, Managing Director of GCMMF, said, “We are seriously looking into this as to how to go about it across the dairy unions. A decision will be taken soon.”

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 situation continued to be grave in the villages of Gujarat. “The situation is extremely bad in rural areas. There are no beds available in hospitals. We pray this phase passes soon,” Shamalbhai Patel said.