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'18 Oxygen plants built in BJP-ruled states, none in Bengal'

Kolkata: Alleging that BJP leaders were blatantly lying about Bengal government receiving money from PM CARES funds for setting up of Oxygen plants, veteran Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Partha Chatterjee said it was the responsibility of the Centre to set up such plants and not a single plant was installed in Bengal even as 18 such plants were erected in BJP-ruled states.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Chatterjee said: "The Central Medical Services Society, which was entrusted with the task of installing Pressure Serving Adsorption Oxygen plants, had installed 18 plants in BJP-ruled states and only 8 in the states ruled by the Opposition and 4 in the Union Territory with Rs 201.58 crore under the PM CARES. But, Bengal got none."

Chatterjee said the Home Ministry had set up a committee in 2020 to monitor the supply of Oxygen. In 2020- 21, the Centre's export of Oxygen went up by 734 per cent, he claimed.

"Trinamool Congress had repeatedly urged the Election Commission to club the last phases of polls into one. ECI did not listen to us and the result is a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases," he added.

When the first phase of elections began on March 27, in Bengal 812 people got infected in a day of which 2 people died while on April 25, the number of people afflicted with the disease daily went up to around 16,000 and the death toll has reached 57.

Chatterjee said the Centre did not have any policy for fixing the prices of Covaxin and Covishield.

"While the Centre is procuring Covaxin at Rs 150, the states are getting it for Rs 600 and the private players are getting it for Rs 1200. For Covishield, Centre is paying Rs 150, the states Rs 400 and private players Rs 600. The discrepancy in pricing is happening because there is no policy," he added.

Chatterjee claimed that the 'indifference and callousness' of the Centre led to the country-wide disaster and people were paying a heavy price.

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