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Modi rejected Punjab's proposal to import oxygen from Pakistan that could save thousands of lives: CM Amarinder Singh

  • Chief Minister of Indian Punjab, Amarinder Singh has revealed that the Center rejected his government’s proposal to import liquid oxygen from Pakistan, which could save thousands of lives in Punjab.
  • He said the Center neither provided an “adequate supply of oxygen from alternate sources,” nor did it allow the import of oxygen from the neighboring country.
Updated 08 May 2021

Chief Minister of Indian Punjab, Amarinder Singh has revealed that the Center has rejected his government’s proposal to import liquid oxygen from Pakistan, which could save thousands of lives in Punjab.

A press release issued by the state government earlier this week quoted the Punjab CM as saying “the Government of India had expressed its inability to even allow Punjab’s local industry to undertake commercial import of LMO [liquid medical oxygen] from Pakistan through the Wagah-Attari border, which is geographically proximate.”

The presser said that the Center neither provided an “adequate supply of oxygen from alternate sources,” nor did it allow the import of oxygen from the neighboring country.

The Chief Minister had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking their urgent intervention to ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply to the state.

He also sought additional allocation of 50 MT LMO from a nearby source and 20 additional tankers, preferably conducive to rail travel for timely evacuation of oxygen from Bokaro.

The Chief Minister expressed concerns over the imminent loss of lives due to oxygen shortage across the state, saying that Punjab was unable to increase Level 2 and Level 3 beds due to oxygen constraints.

The letter revealed that the total allocation of LMO for Punjab was 195 MT, of which 90 MT comes from Bokaro in eastern India. The remaining 105 MT comes from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

However, the state is not getting its daily allocated quota, having a backlog of over 115 MT oxygen from different sources.

The total caseload is growing sharply in the state of Punjab. As of now, the state has reported 424,647 cases of COVID-19, with 8,297 new infections on Friday, more than twice the number of cases reported in Pakistan.

The overall situation in India is in convincing either, reporting 4,01,078 new coronavirus infections in a day. India's total tally of Covid-19 cases has climbed to 2,18,92,676, while the active cases crossed the 3.7-million mark.