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Centre invokes DM Act to streamline supply of oxygen

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Amidst the Delhi-Haryana feud over medical oxygen supply during the current Covid-19 peak, the Centre today said for the second time in less than a week that states cannot impose any restrictions on the free movement of life-saving medical oxygen required by Covid patients.

In a fresh order, after his communication to state chief secretaries on 16 April, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla asked the states to ensure the free movement of oxygen, and said the District Magistrates, SSPs and SPs “will be personally liable for implementation” of the order.

The order said the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes, except those exempted by the government, was prohibited from today.

Exercising powers under the Disaster Management Act as Chairperson, National Executive Committee, Bhalla said the states would instruct the transport authorities to ensure free inter-State movement of oxygen carrying vehicles.

“No restrictions shall be imposed on oxygen manufacturers and suppliers to limit the supplies only to the hospitals of the State/UT in which they are located,” the order said.

There shall be free movement of oxygen carrying vehicles into the cities, without any restrictions of timings, while also enabling inter-city supply without any restriction, the order said. States shall strictly abide by the supply plan of medical oxygen prepared by the Empowered Group II, which is mandated to coordinate klogistics like the supply of medical oxygen.