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Centre Totally Bans Non-Medical Use Of Liquid Oxygen; No Exception For Any Industry

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
25 April 2021 3:42 PM GMT
Centre Totally Bans Non-Medical Use Of Liquid Oxygen; No Exception For Any Industry
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In view of the acute shortage of medical oxygen in the country, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has imposed a total ban on the use of liquid oxygen for non-medical purposes. The Centre has also appealed that all manufacturing units may maximize production of liquid oxygen.Though the Centre had restricted the industrial use of liquid oxygen, it had allowed exceptions to nine categories...

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In view of the acute shortage of medical oxygen in the country, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has imposed a total ban on the use of liquid oxygen for non-medical purposes. The Centre has also appealed that all manufacturing units may maximize production of liquid oxygen.

Though the Centre had restricted the industrial use of liquid oxygen, it had allowed exceptions to nine categories of industries such as steel, petroleum etc.

Now, the Ministry of Home Affairs has amended that order to say that no exceptions are allowed.

Exercising the powers under Section 10(2)(l) read with 65 of the National Disaster Management Act, the Union Home Secretary ordered the State Governments and Union Territories "to ensure that use of liquid oxygen is not allowed for any non-medical purpose and that all manufacturing units may maximise their production of liquid oxygen, and make it available to the Government for medical purpose only, with immediate effect and further orders".

"Further, all stocks of liquid oxygen, should also be made available to the Government for medical purposes. No exception is allowed to any industry with regard to use of liquid oxygen".


It is pertinent to note that the Delhi High Court had recently suggested that the Centre should totally stop the industrial use of liquid oxygen and direct industries to divert their captive oxygen for medical purposes.

"It is a national emergency. You can direct industries with oxygen to divert", a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli had told the Central Government in an urgent hearing held on April 21.

The bench was hearing an urgent plea made by Max Hospital group that they had only few hours of oxygen left in stock.

"Today we are in dire straits. We might lose thousands of lives for lack of oxygen. You cannot turn around and say we don't have it, so you have to die. What we are telling you is, you have to go a step further. You have to take captive oxygen from industries. If it means that those industries have to shut till imports (of oxygen) are made, so be it. We cannot afford to lose lives. It might be inconvenient. Let it be inconvenient. Human lives are more important than commercial interests", a visibly anxious bench had told the Centre.

The bench also expressed its displeasure with the Central Government for allowing nine categories of industries to use oxygen. The bench said that saving of human lives was more important, and therefore it was immaterial if the industries had to shut operations for a few days.

The Bombay High Court(Nagpur bench) has directed the State Government to consider invoking powers under the DMA to use oxygen in steel plants for medical purposes.

The nine exempted industrial sectors were pharmaceuticals, petroleum refineries, steel plants, ampoules and vials, nuclear energy establishments, oxygen cylinder manufacturers, waste water treatment plants, food and water purification and process industries






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