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State launches O2-on-wheels with 50 ambulances

KOLKATA: Further augmenting the infrastructure to provide better health service during the Covid pandemic, the Mamata Banerjee government on Monday introduced oxygen on wheels so that people don't suffer due to lack of oxygen.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee contacted Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay over phone when the same was inaugurated on Monday along with 50 ambulances. Senior ministers were also present when the same was inaugurated from Nabanna.

Oxygen-on-wheel has been provided to each of the five hospitals including Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, NRS Medical College and Hospital, RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, Sambhunath Pandit Hospital and Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital.

At the same time, each of these hospitals has been provided with 10 ambulances. The ambulances are fitted with an oxygen supply system. This comes when the state government is leaving no stones unturned to ensure presence of ambulances in every block in the state. Moreover, the state government has also taken the initiative to set up PSA oxygen plants at 35 hospitals and recently there was a controversy as the centre had "revised" the number of PSA oxygen plants that it had assured of setting up 70 such oxygen plants in Bengal. But, later it was informed that only four will be set up in the first phase.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written a letter recently to the Prime Minister raising concern over the Centre's move of "downwardly revising" the allotment of PSA oxygen plants for Bengal as the Modi government now informed of setting up only four such plants in the first phase despite initial sanction to install 70 in different hospitals.

"For quite some time now, the Government of India apparently has been contemplating to supply PSA plants to hospitals in states. But the matter is not progressing much. Priorities are being fixed and re-fixed, implementing agencies (DRDO, NHAI) are being settled and unsettled, quota for West Bengal in being downwardly revised and further downwardly revised every day. We were told we shall get 70 PSA plants, now we are told that we shall get four in the first phase with no clarity on the remaining PSA plants!," Banerjee's letter reads.

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