Mamata writes to PM, seeks 550 MT oxygen per day

In the third letter in three days after taking oath as the Chief Minister of West Bengal on Wednesday, Mamata Banerjee on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to make arrangements for immediate allocation of at least 550 MT medical oxygen per day to the state so that the latter can make necessary logistics arrangements for smooth supply of oxygen in the health facilities across the state.

Stressing on the need of uninterrupted supply of oxygen in view of the rising caseload in the state, the Chief Minister said, “It (oxygen requirement) has gone up to 470 MT per day in the last 24 hours and is expected to increase to 550 MT in the next seven to eight days.”

“The Chief Secretary has already taken up the matter with the Union Health Secretary and other officials on numerous occasions for urgent allocation of 550 MT medical oxygen to Bengal.

“However, instead of allotting the same as per the requirement of West Bengal, the government of India has increased allocation of oxygen to other states from the total production in West Bengal during the last 10 days from 230 MT to 360 MT, keeping the allocation for West Bengal constant at 308 MT per day, despite its requirement of 550 MT per day,” she added.

The daily production of oxygen in Bengal is around 560 MT, as per state government sources.

Banerjee made it clear in her letter that any allocation of oxygen less than the requested amount will not only adversely affect the supply of oxygen, but may also result in loss of lives of patients across the state.

Immediately after taking oath as the Chief Minister of Bengal for the third straight term, Banerjee had written to Modi requesting him to allow free-of-cost vaccination against Covid-19 for all.

She also requested the Prime Minister to ensure adequate supply of essential drugs and hike the allocation of medical oxygen for Bengal.

Banerjee had advocated free vaccines for all in the country during her election campaign and after the Trinamool Congress swept the polls in Bengal, she even threatened to launch an agitation for the same.

She had also urged Modi to ensure the availability of essential drugs, including Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, to the states to meet their rising demand.