Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: With the COVID cases in Odisha heading north, the State government has decided to maintain stock of oxygen cylinders by hiring the same from private organisations on a monthly rental basis.

A notification in this connection was issued by the Odisha Health & Family Welfare Department on Friday which stated that it will be hiring medical oxygen cylinders from private parties and has fixed the monthly rent for each of it.

"In order to maintain adequate stock of medical oxygen cylinders, during the current COV1D-19 pandemic, the State Government is pleased to hire empty medical oxygen cylinders from private organizations and have fixed the hiring charges," read the notification.

The department has fixed Rs 700 per month as rent for B Type cylinders (1.5 Cubic Meter) and Rs 1000 per month for D Type cylinders (7 Cubic Meter).

In case of any damage caused to the cylinder the department will compensate the organisation as per the current market price.

The government has also made the following arrangements to increase frequency in refilling of medical oxygen cylinders.

1. The number of vehicles engaged for transportation of cylinders to and from refilling centers must be suitably increased. At any given point of time, at least one vehicle should be available as reserve as stand by for meeting any eventuality on account of vehicle breakdown or staff absence.

2. All these vehicles have to be fitted with GPS tracking system.

3. The number of times vehicles carrying empty cylinders are sent to refilling centers must be substantially increased so as to ensure that empty cylinders are not stranded at any Health institution.

4. A responsible officer must be kept in charge of monitoring the refilling of oxygen cylinders and their transportation who shall be responsible for the above arrangements. The name and contract details of such officer must be sent to Drugs Controller and MD, IPICOL immediately

It is worthwhile to mention here that, Odisha has been helping other States like MP, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh & Delhi with oxygen supplies from Rourkela, Angul and Jajpur.