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CM writes to PM, urges to increase state's O2 quota

CM writes to PM, urges to increase states O2 quota
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KOLKATA: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to make arrangements for immediate allocation of at least 550 metric tonne per day of medical oxygen to the state so that the latter can make necessary arrangements for smooth supply of the same to all health facilities across the state.

Banerjee reiterated that it was needed to increase the supply of oxygen as Covid-19 positive cases were increasing in the state. "It (the requirement for oxygen) has gone up to 470 metric tonne per day in the last 24 hours and is expected to increase to 550 MT in the next seven to eight days," Banerjee wrote.

She further pointed out that the Centre had increased oxygen allocation for other states out of the total production in Bengal, despite its increased requirement.

"Chief Secretary has already taken up the matter with Union Health Secretary and other officials on numerous occasions earlier for urgent allocation of 550 MT of medical oxygen for Bengal. However, instead of allotting the same as per the requirement of West Bengal, Govt of India has increased allocation of MO to other states from the total production in West Bengal, during the last 10 days, from 230 MT to 360 MT, keeping the allocation for West Bengal constant at 308 MT per day, despite its requirement of 550 MT per day," Banerjee stated in her letter.

The daily production of oxygen in Bengal is around 560 MT, as per state government sources. She stated that any allocation of oxygen less than the requested amount would not only adversely affect the supply of oxygen but might also result in the loss of lives of patients across the state.

Immediately after taking oath as the Chief Minister of Bengal, Banerjee had written to Modi requesting him to allow free-of-cost vaccination against COVID-19 to all. She also requested him to ensure an adequate supply of essential drugs and increase the allocation of medical oxygen for Bengal.

She had advocated free vaccines for all in the country during her election campaign and after the Trinamool Congress swept the polls in Bengal, she even threatened to launch an agitation for the same.

She had also urged the Prime Minister to ensure the availability of essential drugs, including Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, to states to meet their rising demands.

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