India rose to the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre and State governments patiently fought the virus, said Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday.
While speaking at the virtual inauguration of nine oxygen plants in Ahmedabad, the Union Home Minister noted several steps taken by the government to overcome one of the largest challenges in the second wave – the ten-fold increase in oxygen demand.
“Under normal circumstances, the country used to produce about 1000 MT of oxygen. Within a month, the demand increased to 10,000 MT. It was a huge challenge to meet this 10-fold increase in demand, but under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre and State rose to the challenge and started our fight against this,” he said.
“The production of industrial oxygen was paused in plants across the country and were diverted towards medical oxygen. Cryogenic tankers were in the country were limited but we brought in from across the world and oxygen was transported in trains. About 15,000MT has been transported by train,” he added.
He also said that after the first wave, 162 PSA plants were approved from the PM CARES fund by the Prime Minister, along with an additional 1,051 plants.
“Along with this, 100 more PSA plants were also initiated by other ministries. In the coming days, work to set up 300 more will also be started,” he said.
Shah also lauded efforts by the armed forces, Railways and scientists.
“Thanks to their efforts, this pandemic is receding slowly and demand for oxygen has come down as well. The number of recoveries is higher than new cases,” he said.
The nine oxygen plants inaugurated by Amit Shah will be operated by the Vallabh Youth Organization. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was also present at the virtual event.