‘Pakistan ready to supply oxygen to Punjab but Centre in way’

PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar on Monday said while Pakistan’s industry had enough Oxygen and CM Amarinder Singh had mooted the plan to import it from them, Centre was coming in the way.

Punjab Congress on Monday alleged that Centre was not cooperating in getting oxygen imported for Punjab from Pakistan to combat the second Covid wave.

PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar on Monday said while Pakistan’s industry had enough Oxygen and CM Amarinder Singh had mooted the plan to import it from them, Centre was coming in the way.

Jakhar, who especially participated in the special Cabinet meeting on Monday, to take stock of situation arising out of Covid-19 and several other issues confronting the state government, said that if a single life was lost in state due to Oxygen shortage, then Centre would be responsible.

“The CM told us that he has been taking up the matter with Union Home Ministry and Union Minister of External Affairs. But he has not got a positive response yet. If we get this oxygen, we will bear the financial burden on our own. This is an emergent need to save the people of the state,” Jakhar said.

Meanwhile, Congress leader and Amritsar MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla has written a letter to PM Narendra Modi to develop a corridor to get oxygen from Pakistan to deal with the shortage in Punjab.

In his letter to PM, Aujla wrote: “You are well aware of the fact that our hospitals are facing alarmingly high shortage of liquid oxygen, ventilators, Bi PAPs, oxygenators, PPEs etc. due to spike in Covid-19 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 have offered support to India to help us fight this deadly wave of Covid-19.”

“I represent the holy city of Amritsar which is located on international border — around 350 km from Panipat (nearest oxygen plant) and just 50 kms from Lahore, Pakistan. The daily requirement of oxygen in Amritsar is around 30 tonnes whereas allocated quota for Punjab is too less and that too is in feeble supply. 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,” read the letter.

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