State-owned CIL on Tuesday announced an investment of Rs 35 crore to install 25 oxygen generation plants, across 22 hospitals, in a bid to augment the supply of the life-saving gas amid a surge in COVID-19 infections.
These O2 generation plants will be set up in Coal India's own hospitals and in district hospitals where four of its subsidiaries operate to support 3,328 beds, the PSU said in a statement.
India is facing shortage of medical oxygen in the wake of rise in COVID-19 cases.
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"Coal India Limited (CIL) is pumping Rs 35 crore into installation of 25 oxygen generation plants, across 22 hospitals, to revive increased supply of the life-saving gas," the PSU said in a statement.
While the combined O2 generation capacity of 20 plants is a little above 12,700 litres per minute, four of the plants together generate 750 cubic metres per hour. One is a refill plant, the maharatna firm said.
Of the 25 plants, five are being installed at CIL’s own hospitals at an investment of Rs 4.25 crore covering 332 beds.
Coal India arms -- Northern Coalfields Ltd and Central Coalfields Ltd --will be putting up two plants each, while Bharat Coking Coal Ltd, another subsidiary of CIL, will put up one plant.
The remaining 20 plants will be installed in district hospitals under CIL’s corporate social responsibility.
Fully financed by CIL, these plants account for Rs 30.75 crore or 88 per cent of CIL's total Rs 35 crore investment.
CIL spent Rs 264 crore exclusively on COVID relief measures during FY'21, which is 50 per cent of its total CSR spend of Rs 523 crore.
"Responding to the oxygen need and to scale up its availability we are installing O2 plants on a war footing. All CIL owned five plants will be installed before July, in phase-wise manner, beginning from the first week of June. Plants supported by CIL at district hospitals are expected to be completed by August," the company said.
CIL has engaged a voluntary organisation to establish oxygen banks at 10 locations of Jharkhand and Bihar at Rs 1.34 crore. Twenty ventilators at each location will be given at no cost for door-delivery to the afflicted.
Additionally, the company is also contributing Rs 47 lakh towards ventilators to a Kolkata Police Hospital.
At a time when oxygen has become a critical element in COVID treatment, CIL has 2,324 oxygen cylinders and 237 ventilators ready for use at its hospitals.
"With the government declaring COVID measures as the common CSR theme for CPSES in FY'22, we shall further augment our COVID relief measures," the company said.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.