Malda district magistrate Kaushik Bhattacharya on Friday inaugurated a liquid medical oxygen storage plant at the Malda Medical College and Hospital, making it the first of its kind in a government hospital in the state.

The total project was carried out under the supervision of the West Bengal Medical Services Corporation. According to an official of the WBMSC, the total project cost for the storage, exclusively for the MMCH, was around Rs 20 lakh, and that the gas is stored in a temperature of minus 182 degrees.

Almost 17,000 cubic metre of oxygen will be stored in the plant, which will provide the MMCH with a 22-day back-up as the average daily consumption of the life-giving gas in the institution is around 700 cubic metre, he added.

“Moreover, this plant will also be of great advantage in emergency situations when consumption will go up,” the official said. It is also learnt that Rs 5 can also be saved for every litre, which previously cost Rs 39, and the same has now dropped to only 34.

On the other hand, the purity of the gas will be guaranteed, which was previously not the case as cylinders used to be refilled from private enterprises. “The plant will continuously supply oxygen for 20- 22 days, and needless to say, this will certainly benefit all in Malda,” DM, Mr Bhattacharya, said.