MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday urged the sugar cooperative industry to produce oxygen, much needed for hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.
He was speaking after attending the virtual inauguration of an oxygen production plant of Dharashiv Sugar Cooperative in Osmanabad district.
The sugar cooperative is the first in the state to start oxygen production, an official release said.
Thackeray said the state needs to become self- sufficient in oxygen production to beat the second wave of COVID-19.
"Our production capacity is 1,200 metric tons (per day)while the demand is 1,700 metric tons. If we produce 3,000 metric tons of oxygen, we will be self-sufficient," he was quoted as saying.
Municipal corporations are trying to ramp up their oxygen production and sugar cooperatives should also follow the suit, he said.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari, who also participated in thr virtual function, said having their own oxygen plants should be made mandatory for hospitals with more than 50 beds.
Every district must be able to meet its oxygen requirement from within the same district, he suggested.
The Dharashiv sugar cooperative has converted its ethanol project into oxygen plant which would be producing six tons of oxygen with 96 per cent purity daily.