Cancel diversion of 80KL oxygen from Sriperumbudur to AP and Telangana: Palaniswami

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on April 25, 2021

In a letter to the PM, the TN CM said diversion could lead to a crisis in Chennai and other districts

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately cancel diversion of 80 MTs of liquid oxygen from Sriperumbudur plant to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The diversion could lead to a crisis in Chennai and other districts, he wrote to the Prime Minister.

The letter said that there is growing medical oxygen need in Tamil Nadu due to high levels of oxygen dependent Covid-19 active cases and the need to ensure adequate oxygen availability in the State.

Active caseload

The State would require 450 MTs shortly, which would be more than the production capacity of 400 MTs. As compared to the maximum active case number of around 58,000 during the previous surge in 2020, the active caseload has already increased to over a lakh. This has increased the oxygen demand. All efforts are being made to provide uninterrupted and adequate oxygen supply, the letter said.

In the National Medical Oxygen allotment plan, allocation for Tamil Nadu has been fixed at 220 MTs and based on this wrong allotment, 80 MTs of liquid oxygen has been diverted from the manufacturing facilities in Sriperumbudur to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. This is based on the wrong position that the existing oxygen consumption in Tamil Nadu is lower than the manufacturing capacity, he wrote.

“I wish to bring to your kind notice that as per Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation data, the consumption of oxygen in Tamil Nadu has already reached 310 MTs as against the inadequate allotment made to the State of only 220 MTs,” the letter said.

The States to which the allotment has been made have lower number of active cases than Tamil Nadu and also have major steel industries located within or close to their States.

Hence, the diversion from the Sriperumbudur plant that supplies to Chennai, which has the second biggest caseload in South India, seems to have no justification. This needs to be immediately corrected.

While Tamil Nadu has never imposed any restrictions so far and is always ready to support other states, such mandatory diversion of liquid oxygen from the needs of our state can lead to major crises in Chennai and other districts. “I request that diversion of 80 KL from Sriperumbudur plant in Tamil Nadu may immediately be cancelled,” the letter said.

Published on April 25, 2021

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