Reeling under shortage of medical oxygen due to growing demand amid the pandemic’s second wave, Karnataka on Wednesday offered incentives to industry to set up the gas production plants in the state.
“We are offering incentives to industrialists for setting up production plants to make the state self-sufficient in medical oxygen,” Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar said in a statement.
Shettar, who is in-charge of medical oxygen supply to hospitals, said though the state was getting 1,200 tonnes of the gas daily through the Centre to meet the present need, the state government wanted to produce more to meet its demand during the anticipated third wave later this year.
“I have directed my department officials to build oxygen buffer stock in all 31 districts and increase the gas storage capacity by 20 tonnes for emergency use in state-run hospitals,” he said.
Of 1,200 tonnes allotted to Karnataka, 830 tonnes are produced in six private plants in the state, 60 tonnes are supplied by small and medium enterprises, and 310 tonnes are transported from other states, including Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha.
The state has also received 150 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen, carried by Indian Navy ships, from Gulf countries like Kuwai, Qatar and the UAE.
“More oxygen in 4 cryogenic tankers through special freight trains are on way to the state from Kalinga in Odisha,” said Shettar.
The Industry Department has reactivated 2 state-run defunct plants at KGF (Kolar Gold Field) near Bengaluru and Yadgir to produce 500 tonnes of oxygen each daily.
“In addition, over 100 oxygen generators are being installed across the state to ensure adequate supply to Covid hospitals,” added Shettar.