The Centre on Thursday issued an order directing all the State governments and the Union Territories (UT) administrations to ensure the uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen across the country for management of COVID-19 patients.
The order, issued by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in the capacity of the Chairperson of the National Executive Committee (NEC) under the Disaster Management Act, has given direction to ensure that ‘no restriction shall be imposed on the movement of Medical Oxygen between the states and asked them that transport authorities ‘shall be instructed to accordingly to allow free inter-state movement of such vehicles’.
‘No authority shall attach the oxygen carrying vehicles passing through the districts or areas for making supplies specific to any particular district or area,’ the order reads further.
It has also asked the states and UTs to ensure that there shall be free movement of oxygen carrying vehicles passing into the cities without any restriction of timing, while also enabling inter-city supply without any restriction.
For uninterrupted and smooth supply of medical oxygen, the order said, ‘The District Magistrates/Deputy Commissioners and Senior Superintendent of Police/Superintendent of Police/ Deputy Commissioner of Police will be personally liable for the implementation of the directions issued.’
It also reiterated its earlier order saying supply of oxygen for industrial purposes, except those exempted by the government, ‘is prohibited with effect from April 22, 2021 and till further orders.’