At a time when the nation is facing a covid crisis that has now spawned an oxygen supply crisis, many state governments are prioritising their own needs when it comes to essential drugs and medical supplies. There are also certain CMs whose only response to any kind of crisis is to blame the Central government. Governments in Maharashtra and Delhi, despite glaring failures to handle the Covid crisis in their own states, have been focusing on political attacks against the central government, blaming the GOI for everything.
However, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik is an exception. Even though the state is struggling with Covid cases and other difficulties, CM Naveen Patnaik has remained away from slander and political attacks against the Central government. Despite his party BJD being in bitter opposition to the BJP in the state, Patnaik has long maintained a cooperative, and open stance with the Central government when it comes to the welfare of the people.
Recently, in a meeting with PM Modi, CM Naveen Patnaik assured all possible help in supplying oxygen to other states. With major steel plants like SAIL Rourkela, Jindal and others, Odisha has a considerable capacity to produce oxygen. Patnaik assured that Odisha will ramp up oxygen production and supply to other states.
Maharashtra CM thanks Odisha CM
In a tweet, CM Uddhav Thackeray’s office has informed that the Maha CM spoke to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and has thanked him for helping in procurement and transportation of medical oxygen from Odisha to Maharashtra. He thanked the Odisha CM for ‘standing by each other in these crucial times, as ‘one nation truly’.
Delhi CM planning to airlift oxygen tankers from Odisha
In a media briefing on Thursday, Delhi CM Kejriwal had informed that the Delhi government will try to airlift oxygen tankers from Odisha in the coming days. A major chunk of Delhi’s oxygen quota is being sent by Odisha’s factories. Kejriwal also informed that he had received a call from Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik who has assured him of all possible help from the Odisha government.
Odisha police facilitate oxygen supply to Andhra Pradesh
Odisha has been sending oxygen from its plants in Angul, Rourkela and others to several states. Last night 20 tonnes of medical oxygen was sent from Odisha’s Angul to Vishakhapatnam under police escort. The oxygen was loaded under the supervision of IIC of Industrial Police Station in Nisa, Angul and was sent under police escort to Andhra’s Visakhapatnam.
20 tonnes medical oxygen on way to Visakhapatnam from Angul. Odisha Police escorting for prompt and unhindered transportation so as to reach thousands of needy patients without any delay. pic.twitter.com/RDzzTigJdp— Odisha Police (@odisha_police) April 22, 2021
SAIL’s Rourkela Steel Plant playing a major role
The Steel Authority of India Limited has been crucial in supplying oxygen to all over the country. Recently, SAIL had informed that they have sent over 33,000 tonnes of oxygen all over India from their plants in Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Bengal. SAIL’s plant in Odisha’s Rourkela has ramped up its oxygen production capacity and has been crucial in these efforts.
On 22 April alone, SAIL’s plants supplied 891 tonnes of medical oxygen from its various plants.
As per a recent report in The New Indian Express, under normal circumstances, SAIL’s Rourkela plant engages 2 air separation units (ASP) to produce oxygen for its own steel manufacturing and medical oxygen for the Ispat General Hospital. Now the plant is engaging two more units to meet the demand. In April alone, the plant has supplied over 840 tonnes of oxygen. From April 2020, the plant has supplied over 8000 tonnes across India. The Rourkela Steel Plant is supplying medical oxygen to several states badly affected by Covid.
CM Naveen Patnaik has been setting an example. Current Indian politics often sees CMs from other parties who are in opposition to the BJP in the centre, often indulging in pointless slandering, and overt political opportunism to criticise and blame the centre for everything. Even as Odisha battled severe cyclones, CM Patnaik has been cooperative and committed about his interaction with the government of India while his government handled the natural disasters with an expertise that is now praised worldwide. While some CMs were promoting anti-vaccine sentiments, Naveen Patnaik was among the first CMs to take the vaccines on the first day when it was opened for senior citizens. He had taken the jab on March 1, just after PM Modi did, and had encouraged the people of the state to get vaccinated.