SRINAGAR: As the supplier faltered in delivering the Oxygen plants to the Jammu region, the Jammu and Kashmir government took away five from Kashmir, Hindustan Times reported in a sensational report.
Kashmir and Jammu divisions were allotted Rs 125 crore each to acquire 37 pressure swing adsorption (PSA) oxygen units for each division by March 31. Kashmir was able to acquire some of the units amid the surging coronavirus cases, while the supply order in Jammu got delayed till May 7 owing to the failure of the commencement of the contract with their supplier.
The newspaper quoted an official saying: “Of the 37 oxygen plants required for Kashmir, we have so far acquired 20 units, but could only install 17 here as three were installed in Jammu.”
“Of the five units, which have been diverted, two were meant for Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital and Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Hospital, while one was for Anantnag and two for Baramulla,” the newspaper added. Every unit is a 1000-LPM plant. Now the MED is making internal adjustments. For a start the plants meant for Shopian and Bandipora districts will be now installed at two major hospitals in Srinagar running with oxygen deficit.
Chief Engineer, MED, Abdul Rashid Dar has admitted the diversion. “Only two plants of 1000 LPM capacity have been diverted. Their contract had failed. We had secured our contract on time, so we are placing orders for six plants from here for Jammu for now,” Hindustan Times quoted Dar saying. “The chief engineer said they will be replacing the plants which were shifted to Jammu back to the Valley after 45 days,” the newspaper added.
The newspaper said more plants are arriving. “Nine PSA oxygen units are arriving — eight from Kashmir quota and one from Jammu quota — within a day or two. While seven will be airlifted, two are following the normal transportation procedures.”
MED Kashmir’s desperation to ensure the machine supplies reach in time was because Kashmir has a topographic disadvantage. Kashmir cannot rely on liquid medical oxygen supply because of a bad highway that remains shut for days. With its supplies being shared with the Jammu region, the MED will have put in extra efforts to manage the deficit well before Kashmir starts gasping for breath.