SRINAGAR: When the country is battling an oxygen crisis, Jammu and Kashmir government has taken O2 supply and distribution to the next level in the union territory.
For the first time, oxygen plants are being installed in the remotest sub-district hospitals (SDHs) along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.
SDHs in Uri, Gurez, and Tangdhar are among 30 hospitals that are being upgraded with oxygen facilities. The project is part of the World Bank-funded Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP) approved by the government in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the 30 oxygen plants, 15 will be set up in Jammu and the rest in Kashmir. Far-flung areas in both regions will be covered under this project. These include Ramgarh, Sunderbani, Gagwal, Hiranagar, Bani, Basholi, and others.
Implemented by Economic Rescosnturction Agency (ERA), the project is being personally supervised by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. The main aim of the project is to augment oxygen supply and health care facilities in rural areas in order to reduce pressure on tertiary hospitals.
“Given the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of strengthening health care facilities at primary and secondary health care institutions were acutely felt to handle any future resurgences/ waves of COVID. The installation of oxygen generator plants will strengthen the capacity of these hospitals to handle the critical patients, within their respective jurisdictions,” Dr. Syed Abid Rashid Shah, chief executive officer (CEO) of Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA), told The Kashmir Monitor.
Dr. Shah said it will significantly reduce the patient load on tertiary care hospitals and thus help in saving crucial human lives. “The oxygen generator plants will be installed and made operational within shortest possible time, although manifold systems can be put to use within 02 months by using the bulk oxygen cylinders,” he said.
Work on the oxygen plant in SDH will start this week only. Civil works and electrification will be taken in the first phase. Two other components including plant and manifold piping will follow. The plant has the capacity of generating 300 liters of oxygen per minute.
Jammu and Kashmir has also become one of the top states/union territories to augment oxygen facilities in the shortest possible time. The government has operationalized high-flow Oxygen plants in almost all major district and sub-district hospitals across the valley.
Now, the valley hospitals have the capacity to generate 36000 liters per minute (LPM). Mechanical Engineering Department has added 21000 LPM of oxygen besides increased its oxygen capacity at SKIMS Soura and JVC Hospital by 3250 LPM.
Eleven hospitals under the department of health, Kashmir, are generating 10225 LPM. JLNM hospital has the highest generation capacity of producing 2300 oxygen LPM.
“We have sufficient oxygen beds available. We are also self-sufficient in oxygen capacity. We do not have any crisis. We established oxygen plants on a war footing,” said Dr. Mir Mushtaq, spokesman of the health department Kashmir.