On Monday (April 26), Punjab Congress MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla sparked a controversy after he asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to open an ‘oxygen corridor’ with Pakistan. As of Tuesday, the State has recorded 49894 active cases and a total of 8,530 fatalities.
In a letter to PM Modi, he talked about the ‘shortage’ of ventilators, oxygenators, PPE kits, liquid oxygen in hospitals caused due by a drastic increase in Coronavirus cases. “In response to this emergency, our neighbouring countries have offered help which should be welcomed with open arms. The government of Pakistan and Edhi Foundation has offered to provide relief support to India to help us fight this deadly wave of Covid-19,” the Congress MP added.
Gurjeet Singh Aujla said that the daily oxygen requirement in his constituency of Amritsar is 30 tonnes. He claimed that the allotted oxygen supply for Punjab is ‘too less’ with a ‘feeble supply’ line. He argued that the nearest oxygen plant is 350 km away in Panipat in Haryana whereas Lahore in Pakistan is just 50 km away. “Amritsar is presently receiving oxygen supplies from Panipat in truck-tankers which is not a reliable system of uninterrupted supply as there are not enough and spare truck tankers available to cover for breakdowns,” he added.
Requested @PMOIndia Sh @narendramodi to accept all the medical help offered by other countries & also create an ‘oxygen corridor’ at Attari Wagha border port to facilitate entire border region of Punjab. Expecting from @drharshvardhan & @DrSJaishankar to take up this matter. pic.twitter.com/oJke0CJ0RQ— Gurjeet Singh Aujla (@GurjeetSAujla) April 26, 2021
“The oxygen reserves at Amritsar have already been exhausted and we are on the mercy of this unreliable chain tankers. Accessing the present state and forthcoming spike in this wave; I implore your good self to consider accepting all the help needed from our neighbours as you yourself had offered in the past in form of vaccination and make arrangements for the purchase & transportation of oxygen from Pakistan via the land route of Attari Wagha border post,” he emphasised.
Gurjeet Singh Aujla claimed that such an ‘oxygen corridor’ with Pakistan will reduce pressure on Indian oxygen plants, ease the transport system and reduce the distress caused due to the ongoing ‘oxygen crisis.’ To further justify his suggestion of importing medical oxygen from Pakistan, the Congress MP claimed that the oxygen can then be supplied at a fast pace to other parts of Punjab such as Pathankot, Bathinda, Jalandhar, Tarn Taran, and other districts.
“I am aware of the political and diplomatic state of affairs but at the times of such pandemics and calamities all the nations must join hands and share resources to defeat this common enemy,” he continued. Lastly, the Congress MP concluded that just like the inauguration of ‘Kartarpur Sahib Corridor’ on 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the development of the oxygen corridor with Pakistan will be a great gift to humanity.