Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, requested for immediate cancellation of oxygen supply from its plants to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in view of the rising number of active cases in the state.
Tamil Nadu, Mr Palaniswami said, is witnessing high level of oxygen dependent active cases, leading to requirement of 450 metric tonnes (MTs) which is above the state’s production capacity of 400 MTs. Eighty metric tonnes of liquid oxygen has been diverted to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and this should be halted in view of increase in oxygen demand, he said.
“As compared to the maximum active case number of around 58,000 during the previous surge in 2020, the active caseload has increased to over a lakh today,” he said.
Mr Palaniswami said that the state has been wrongly allotted lesser quota despite high number of active cases. The consumption of oxygen in Tamil Nadu has already reached 310 MTs as against the inadequate allotment made to the state of only 220 MTs, he said referring to data published by Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisations.
“The latest National Medical Oxygen allotment plan allocation for Tamil Nadu has been fixed at 220 MTs and based on the wrong allotment, 80 MTs of liquid oxygen has been diverted from the manufacturing facilities located in Sriperumpudur to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. This is based on the wrong position that the existing oxygen consumption in Tamil Nadu is lower than the manufacturing capacity,” he said in the letter.
“Also the states to which the allotment has been made have lower number of active cases than us also have major steel industries located within the states/close to their states. Hence the diversion from Sriperumpudur plant which supplies to Chennai city with the second biggest caseload in South India seems to have no justification,” he added.
Though Tamil Nadu never imposed any restrictions so far and is always ready to support other States, such mandatory diversion of liquid oxygen from the state “can lead to major crisis” in Chennai and other districts, he said.
“Hence, I request that diversion of 80 KL (Kilo Litres) from Sriperumbudur plant, in Tamil Nadu may immediately be cancelled,” he wrote.