Coronavirus Pandemic

India Covid crisis: Punjab accuses govt of impeding oxygen supply from Pakistan

Web Report/New Delhi
Filed on April 27, 2021
PTI photo

Punjab Congress leader accused the central government of not cooperating with the state in importing oxygen from Pakistan

A Punjab Congress leader has accused the central government of preventing the supply of oxygen from Pakistan and has warned that even if a single person dies because of lack of oxygen in the state, the Indian government would be held responsible.

Sunil Jakhar, the chief of the Punjab Congress accused the central government of not cooperating with the state in importing oxygen from Pakistan. “Chief minister Amarinder Singh told us that he had taken up the matter with the union home ministry and the external affairs ministry, but has not got a positive response as yet,” said Jakhar. “If we get the oxygen, we will bear the financial burden on our own. There is an emergent need to save the people of the state.”

Another Congress leader, Gurjeet Singh Aujla, who is the MP from Amritsar, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a ‘corridor’ to get oxygen from Pakistan to tackle the shortage in Punjab. “You are well aware of the fact that our hospitals are facing alarmingly high shortage of liquid oxygen, ventilators, Bi PAPs, oxygenators, PPEs etc. due to spike in Covid-19 cases,” Aujla wrote to Modi. “In response to this emergency our neighbouring countries have offered help which should be welcomed with open arms. The government of Pakistan and Edhi Foundation have offered support to India to help us fight this deadly wave of Covid-19.”

The nearest oxygen plant to Amritsar was in Panipat about 350 km from the city, but just 50 km to the west is Lahore in Pakistan. “The daily requirement of oxygen in Amritsar is around 30 tonnes whereas allocated quota for Punjab is too less and that too is in feeble supply. Amritsar is presently receiving oxygen supplies from Panipat in truck-tankers, which is not a reliable system of uninterrupted supply as there are not enough and spare truck-tankers available to cover for breakdowns,” he added.

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