NHAI To Set Up 500 Oxygen Plants Across The Country On A Mission Mode, Toll Fee On Oxygen-Tankers Exempted

by Arun Kumar Das - May 9, 2021 10:48 AM +05:30 IST
NHAI To Set Up 500 Oxygen Plants Across The Country On A Mission Mode, Toll Fee On Oxygen-Tankers ExemptedUnion Minister Nitin Gadkari (Pic Via Twitter) 

Fast-tracking the setting up of oxygen plants, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been entrusted with the task of constructing 500 such units across the country on a mission mode while tankers carrying liquid medical oxygen have been exempted from toll fees on National Highways.

According to the NHAI, it will carry out the civil or construction work for setting up of around 500 medical oxygen plants across districts as the government has given the task to fast track the setting up of these plants considering its pan-India presence.

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari tweeted, "Our engineers will work with the doctors to ensure oxygen supply to the needy patients. Like record speed in roads, we will construct infrastructure at record speed to save the life of every citizen."

The highways authority held a detailed meeting of all its regional officers and they have been asked to instruct all field officers to identify the locations and take up work as soon as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) asks them to start construction.

Considering the government's offer as an opportunity to carry out such a humanitarian task, NHAI maintains that all officials have been asked to take this on mission mode as the top priority.

The sites can be made ready in less than a fortnight, if there is no requirement of reinforced concrete (RCC) structure. In case of RCC structure it may take at least a month.

In order to provide uninterrupted passage of tankers and containers carrying Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) across national highways, the user fee for such vehicles at Toll Plazas has been exempted.

Keeping in view the current unprecedented demand of the medical grade oxygen across the country due to COVID-19 pandemic, containers carrying LMO will be treated at par with other emergency vehicles such as ambulances for a period of two months or till further orders.

Although the toll plazas have nearly zero waiting time after implementation of FASTag, NHAI is already providing priority passage to such vehicles for quick and seamless transportation of medical oxygen.

Instructions have also been issued by NHAI to all its officials and other stakeholders to assist the government and private efforts to fight the pandemic in a helping and proactive manner.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has created a huge demand for liquid medical oxygen across the country. In the current medical crisis, the timely delivery of LMO to hospitals and medical centers is of paramount importance to save the lives of patients critically affected by COVID-19.

Exemption of payment of user fee at the Toll Plazas will ensure faster movement of medical grade oxygen on the National Highways.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.

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