The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday set up a 24×7 ‘oxygen war room’ in Jammu to monitor and manage the supply and distribution of the life-saving gas.
The move comes after the administration faced flak on social media as people alleged that NGOs and volunteer groups were unable to procure oxygen cylinders for Covid-19 patients, in the absence of any help from the government. “The Industries and Commerce (I&C) department of Jammu division on Wednesday established 24×7 oxygen war room (control room) at Udhyog Bhawan to monitor and manage the supply and distribution of oxygen,” an official said.
Madhur Anand has been nominated as nodal officer for the control room and the public can contact on the numbers – 9469593931 and 9469593933 – in case of emergency, she said.
The war room will be in constant touch with consumers and suppliers of medical oxygen and take immediate necessary steps whenever needed, the official said.
The order issued by Anu Malhotra, director, industries and commerce department, however, did not mention if the NGOs and other volunteer groups are permitted to fill oxygen cylinders.
Several volunteer organisations providing free oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, oximetres, medicines, facilitation of doctor consultations and food to coronavirus patients since the pandemic outbreak last year criticised the L-G administration for “total failure” in supporting them.
“Kashmiri Pandit (KP) volunteers are busy in providing oxygen cylinders to people in need since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. As the situation turns from bad to worse with every passing day, we receive hundreds of calls for oxygen and other allied necessities. We have exhausted our available oxygen supply,” Vikram Koul, president, Kashmiri Pandit Volunteers (KPV) said.
He said his team reached out to the Jammu and Kashmir administration in granting permission to fill the empty oxygen cylinders but in vain.
Sunita, whose 87-year-old mother was saved by the intervention of one such volunteer group, said the administration should extend all help to NGOs working for providing oxygen cylinders and other medical necessities to Covid-19 patients in home quarantine. (PTI)