Like petrol, diesel India must have strategic oxygen reserve to combat future COVID-19 waves: NTF tells SC
New Delhi, June 25: The Supreme Court appointed National Task Force said that India should start building an oxygen reserve on the lines of petroleum products to combat future waves of COVID-19.
The NTF appreciated the hard work put in by the Centre in maintaining the liquid medical oxygen supply to states during the critical second wave of COVID-19. "We should have strategic reserves of oxygen for the country to cover 2-3 weeks' consumption, similar to the arrangement made for petroleum products.
Similarly, all hospitals should have a buffer capacity for Emergencies," the NTF said in its report filed in the Supreme Court.
"There should be a strategy to manufacture oxygen locally or in the neighbourhood for the big cities to fulfill at least 50% of their LMO demand, as road transportation is vulnerable. This may be taken up in respect of Delhi and Mumbai on priority, due to their population density. All 18 metro cities must be made oxygen independent, with at least 100 MT storage in the city itself," the report said.
"Each hospital with 100 or more beds, should be encouraged to have an LMO installation. A cryogenic storage tank for LMO should be insisted upon for every hospital in metropolitan areas. All hospitals, including medical colleges and district hospitals, must have pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technology to produce oxygen for in-house consumption. All district hospitals should have PSA plants with compressors so that they can manage their own load as well as fill cylinders for CHC/PHC/Ambulances."
"There is an urgent need to increase production of LMO from about 5% - 8% of gaseous industrial oxygen. Govt should support and subsidize concerned industries...Technology to be put in place to convert nitrogen plants to oxygen producing plants in case of an emergency situation...Focus should also be placed on cylinders, gaseous oxygen and arrangement of cylinder fillers. CO2 cylinders from beverage industries may also be converted to oxygen cylinders,"the report also said.
"In emergency, implementation of management of Oxygen Grid with 10-12 regional production sites is required . The storage hubs with state and district storage spokes should be in place for any emergent situation. Long haul connectivity through Rail from the production hub to the storage hubs, with the last mile connectivity as a spoke model transported by trucks. The LMO production hubs should be so located that the transport distance even by rail is preferably less than 24 hours," the National Task Force also said.