New Delhi: As the nation fights a deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, PSUs have been working shoulder-to-shoulder with the Central government in mitigating the crisis, whether through supply of oxygen or erecting medical facilities for the treatment of patients. According to data compiled by the Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) have been tasked with setting up oxygen generation plants at 10 hospitals each across seven states to address the acute shortage of medical oxygen in the country.
While ONGC is setting up medical grade oxygen generation plants in 10 government hospitals across three states and providing COVID vaccine logistics supply chain equipment support, HPCL is setting up oxygen generation plants at 10 district hospitals in four states.
In addition to ONGC and HPCL, disinvestment-bound Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) has been supplying over 400 MT of oxygen per month from its various refineries to address the crisis in the country. According to SCOPE, while BPCL's Kochi Refinery is supplying medical grade oxygen 100 MT/month in Kerala, Bina Refinery has diverted 300 MT of gaseous oxygen in Madhya Pradesh, and Mumbai Refinery is supplying 300 tonnes of oxygen per month to Maharashtra.
Oil India Ltd (OIL) has donated 500 oxygen concentrators in Assam, 10 in Jodhpur and 10 in Jaisalmer. In addition, it is also setting up a PSA oxygen generation plant in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and five in Bihar.
Apart from supplying and facilitating oxygen, PSUs have also set up COVID care facilities to shoulder the burden on India's health infrastructure at a time when demand is far outweighing the supply. Steel PSUs like Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), NMDC and MOIL have set up 5,000 oxygenated beds for COVID patients. Coal India Ltd (CIL) has set up 1,518 COVID care beds, including 725 oxygen-supported beds, and 900 quarantine beds. The coal miner is in the process of setting up 100 ICU beds. Its subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) has set up a 120-bedded dedicated COVID-19 hospital NSCH in Talcher, Odisha.
Defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has set up 180-bed COVID care centre, a 70-bed facility in Odisha and a 40-bed hospital in Maharashtra. Cotton Corporation of India has used its 1.20 lakh square feet warehousing complex for setting up 1,000 beds for COVID care in Navi Mumbai. Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL), on the other hand, has erected a COVID care facility in its Narwapahar Hospital with 30 beds.
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