Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel is participating in the virtual meeting of chief ministers with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The meeting will review the arrangements and progress of COVID-19 vaccine immunisation programme. Union Home Min. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, May 17 : A day after Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow oxygen for industrial use in the state, the CM on Monday wrote to Union Minister for Industries and Commerce Piyush Goyal demanding that steel industries be allowed to use 20 per cent of the oxygen produced in Chhattisgarh.

In the letter, the Chief Minister said that the total daily oxygen production capacity of various units of Chhattisgarh is 462 MT. Under normal circumstances, oxygen is supplied to the steel makers of the state by the oxygen manufacturers. But due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases, the Central government had banned the industrial use of oxygen to ensure medical oxygen supply in the country.

It was ensured by the state government that in this time of national crisis, all the oxygen producers of the state supplied oxygen to other states according to their requirement and demand.

During the discussion with the Chief Minister over telephone on May 16 and video conference with chief ministers to discuss the corona situation, the Prime Minister had assured Baghel that he will consider his request to allow use of oxygen in Chhattisgarh in a 80:20 ratio.

The chief minister also held discussions over the telephone with Union Minister for Industries and Commerce Piyush Goyal on the issue and was asked by the minister to send a proposal in this regard.

"As on 15 May 2021, 114.93 MT of oxygen was supplied to the corona patients of the state and 175.27 MT of oxygen to other states. Whereas on April 28, 2021, the total requirement of oxygen of the state was 149.83 MT and the total requirement of other states was supplied by the state's oxygen manufacturers at 340.18 MT," Baghel said.

The Chief Minister mentioned that oxygen producing units are suffering due to lack of demand and all the steel making units of the state are closed due to lack of oxygen, due to which millions of labourers have become unemployed.

Keeping these circumstances in view, it is requested that the steel makers of the state should be allow the use of 20 per cent quantity (92 MT) of oxygen produced in the state, he said.

He added that the corona situation is constantly improving and the availability of oxygen is sufficient and accordingly 20 per cent oxygen can be provided to the industries.

If the demand for additional medical oxygen arises, the supply of oxygen to the steel making units can be stopped immediately, he said.

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-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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