Centre exempts all interstate movement of oxygen tankers from registration of permits

To ensure adequate medical grade oxygen supply in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged all officials to ensure seamless and free movement of tankers carrying oxygen throughout the country as COVID-19 cases surge hits the country again.


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged all officials to ensure seamless and free movement of tankers carrying oxygen throughout the country as COVID-19 cases surge hits the country again and hospitals across the country are running out of beds, medicines and oxygen.

In Delhi which has been witnessing record spike in daily cases, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that the situation is "very serious and worrisome" as hospitals in the capital were fast running out of beds, oxygen and life-saving drug Remdesivir, according to reports.

To ensure adequate medical grade oxygen supply in the country, the prime minister on Friday reviewed the status of oxygen availability in the country and projected use in the coming 15 days across 12 high burden states.

In the wake of the new COVID-19 wave, the 12 high burden states included Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. 

In the effort to facilitate easier movement of oxygen tankers, the Central government has exempted all interstate movement of oxygen tankers from registration of permits, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

States and transporters have been asked to ensure tankers move around the clock with drivers working in shifts to ensure faster turnaround and adequate capacity to meet the surge in demand.

Cylinder filling plants will also be permitted 24-hour working with necessary safeguards, the release stated.

The government is allowing industrial cylinders to be used for medical oxygen after due purging. Nitrogen and argon tankers will be automatically allowed to be converted to oxygen tankers to overcome the potential shortage of tankers, the release added.

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First Published:April 17, 2021, 2:45 p.m.

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