Oxygen shortage: Rajasthan govt levelling false allegations against Centre, says Meghwal

JAIPUR: Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Tuesday attacked Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, accusing him of levelling false allegations against the Centre over the supply of medical oxygen and Remdesivir injections to the state.

He said the Centre has formed an empowered committee for the allocation and every state is being supplied oxygen according to its requirements.

Contrary to the claim that only 80 metric tonnes of oxygen is being given to Rajasthan daily, more than 265 metric tonnes of the life-saving gas has been supplied to the state every day from April 20, said Meghwal.

Similarly, the state quota for Remdesivir injections has been doubled by the Centre, he claimed, amid a spurt in coronavirus cases.

“False allegations are being levelled by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his ministers regarding the availability of Remdesivir injections and oxygen supply to mislead people,” he told reporters in a virtual press conference.

Giving details, Meghwal said 169.27 metric tonnes of oxygen was supplied to the state on April 15, which has been continuously increasing.

On April 24, 330.6 metric tonnes of oxygen was supplied, he said.

Targeting the Rajasthan government, Meghwal claimed that about a year ago, the Centre had allocated funds for oxygen plants and other resources to every state.

Despite it, the Rajasthan government did not set up any oxygen plant, he alleged.

Had the state government been serious, it would have been producing 1,600 oxygen cylinders every day by now, he claimed.

The state is facing a shortage of medical oxygen amid a spurt in coronavirus cases.

According to officials, the requirement of oxygen cylinders has reached 31,425 a day from 6,500 three months ago.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot too at a virtual meeting with PM Narendra Modi last week had flagged the issue, demanding that the Centre ensure the supply of oxygen, medicines and other resources to states in a planned and equitable manner.

He said the states should be allocated oxygen and Remdesivir injections on the basis of their number of active cases.

The chief minister had pointed out that on April 21, Rajasthan was allocated only 26,500 Remdesivir injections, whereas Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, which had less cases than his state, were given 1.63 lakh and 92,200 injections, respectively.