“Don’t Think Any Country Would Have Been Prepared”: Director Of INOX Air, Largest Manufacturer Of Liquid Oxygen In India
“...it is not the union government’s job to pick up the oxygen and deliver it to end locations. What do the states exist for?” Siddharth Jain, director of INOX Air Products, has said.
Siddharth Jain, director of INOX Air Products, the largest manufacturer of liquid oxygen in India, has said that the country managed to increase the production of liquid medical oxygen by 30 per cent within a month, adding that it was a world record.
“India has increased its oxygen manufacturing capacity by 30 per cent within a month. This is unfathomable. I don’t think it has happened globally. It’s a world record in itself,” Jain said in an interview with Quartz India, but added that increasing the capacity of oxygen production was not the same as getting it to patients.
Explaining further, Jain said it was the job of state governments to organise the logistics and pick up oxygen from production plants.
“...it is not the union government’s job to pick up the oxygen and deliver it to end locations. It is not their job to go to Odisha, pick up the oxygen and come to Mumbai and pour it in a tank. What do the states exist for?” Jain noted.
“It is the job of the state to go and organise the logistics and go and get the allocated product,” he added.
When asked if the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi had failed to organise logistics for smooth movement of oxygen, Jain answered in the affirmative.
“Yes, absolutely. It was only later, after a lot of pressure was put on them, they started moving it,” the director of INOX Air Products told the interviewer, who had asked if “Delhi wasn’t organising the logistics and was just complaining”.
Explaining the logistical challenge further, he said the centres where most of India’s oxygen is produced are located away from population centres.
“India has only 70 oxygen plants and these 1,170 containers were moving the entire production of oxygen. Earlier, out of 100 tankers that we would manufacture only 15 were going to medical, and 85 were going to industry. So all our plants are located in areas very close to industry, and not in the most densely populated areas where there are hospitals,” Jain told Quartz India.
Jain said India is producing enough oxygen to maintain the current caseload but could be in a “tight spot” if the cases started to rise drastically.
“Why cases spike in this manner is beyond me. I don’t think any country would have been prepared for this kind of acceleration (in Covid-19 cases), which is currently the world’s highest,” he said on the question of preparedness.
Also Read: Delhi’s ‘Oxygen Crisis’ Is More A Logistics Problem Than A Demand-Supply Issue
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