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To overcome the shortage of empty oxygen cylinders in the state, the Uttar Pradesh government has placed an order with Bharat Pumps and Compressors (BPCL), a closed central public sector unit (CPSE), for the manufacture of 3,000 cylinders.
The company, located in Naini, near Prayagraj (Allahabad), has promised to manufacture the 3,000 cylinders in three weeks’ time.
Speaking to FE, MSME additional chief secretary Navneet Sehgal said the state government has already placed the order and BPCL has started work on it. “The company had quoted a price of Rs 12,000 for the manufacture of each cylinder. The state government has made an advance payment of Rs 1 crore so that the company can start production immediately. The rest of the payment would be made gradually,” he said, adding that the company would start delivering the first lot of cylinders within a weeks’ time.
According to officials, the state government had sent a proposal to the Central government regarding using the closed CPSE for manufacturing cylinders, which have been in short supply, owing to a surge in Covid-19 cases. The importance of oxygen cylinders is also being felt acutely, as there have been many cases where oxygen supply units have oxygen, but patients are short on cylinders.
It may be mentioned that the Central government is in the process of winding up the loss-making CPSE, after all efforts, including its privatisation through strategic disinvestment, failed.
Apart from this, the government has also taking steps to deal with oxygen shortage in the state and has and issued instructions to install more than 50 oxygen plants in the state. Apart from that, instructions have also been given to install oxygen plants in all hospitals that have a capacity of more than 100 beds.