VIJAYAWADA: In view of Cyclone Yaas brewing in the Bay of Bengal and the likelihood of it impacting the supply of liquid medical oxygen (LMO), Andhra Pradesh government was advised to take necessary steps to address the situation.
In order to mitigate the risk of any disruption in the supply to the state, the government has already sourced additional stock of LMO from Odisha in the last two days. Buffer stock will be maintained to overcome any crisis for 2-3 days
The state is largely dependent on supplies from steel plants located in Odisha’s Angul, Kalinganagar and Rourkela. Any disruption in the supply can cause severe distress in the state. “Though the impact of the cyclone may not be much in the state, acting on caution, we have taken certain measures to mitigate the problem. The state is allocated 590 metric tonnes of LMO per day. However, on May 19, we drew 711 MT, on May 20, it was 600 MT and on May 22 it was 608 MT. Today, we procured 770 MT,” principal secretary (health) Anil Kumar Singhal said.
Elaborating further, MT Krishna Babu, principal secretary (transport and R&B) and in-charge of the State Oxygen War Room, said the state government took initiative to increase the supply from Odisha in the last two days through Oxygen Express trains in order to maintain buffer stocks in all the districts. “Almost 100 MT of LMO has been sourced from Rourkela and further 100 MT is expected before May 24,” he said.
Also, the state government has taken steps to monitor and ensure that the regular supply of almost 200 MT using road transport tankers from Angul, Kalinganagar and Rourkela is not interrupted due to Yaas. The state has been in regular coordination with the local administrations in Odisha to ensure seamless supplies, Krishnababu explained.
Besides oxygen supply from steel plants in Odisha, the International Committee of the Red Cross through Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) handed over 120 MT of LMO through six ISO cryogenic tankers of 20 MT each to the state at Visakhapatnam port on Sunday. It will be placed as a reserve stock in Guntur and Tirupati in case of emergency. The state government thanked Reliance Industries for supplying more than 200 MT of LMO from its Jamnagar plant in Gujarat on May 16,19, 22 and 23. “It has helped us to manage the situation in view of increasing caseload,” Krishnababu said.
Meanwhile, the energy department has been instructed to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the three important LMO sources in the state -- Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL) and Ellenbarrie Industries in Visakhapatnam, and Liquinox Gases in Srikakulam. They supply 210 MT of LMO, altogether. Besides these primary sources, there are 49 re-fillers tahat convert the LMO into gaseous form and distribute it through cylinders to hospitals for last-mile use.