One-third of oxygen production in the country is concentrated in its eastern region even as nearly 60 per cent of the demand for the live-saving gas is in the northern and southern parts and 30 per cent in the western sector.
There is a mismatch between oxygen-producing and consuming states, but the Centre is trying to maintain equity among states.
As per government’s latest data, of the total production of 8,859 Metric Tonne (MT) oxygen, 1,174 MT (12 per cent) is produced in northern part of the country while the allocation in the region is 2,897 MT (33 per cent).
Despite producing maximum of 2,867 MT oxygen (32 per cent), the allocation in eastern region of the country is only 1,035 MT (12 per cent).
With the production of 2,838 MT oxygen (32 per cent), the western region is allocated 2,688 MT oxygen (30 per cent). In the south, the production is 1,980 MT (22 per cent) while the allocation is 2,239 MT (25 per cent).
The government data said the demand has resulted in “transportation challenges” but, in order to address the surge in demand for oxygen, the Central government established allocation process of the gas to equitably supply it to all states in line with the demand.
The data was issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
“Mapping of source and destination of oxygen has been completed to optimize transportation plan in consultation with states and the UTs, manufacturers and other stakeholders.”
The first oxygen allocation order issued on April 15 this year and it was restricted to a few states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
As the second wave of pandemic spread to other states, demand for Oxygen increased from other states and the formula of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was used to estimate oxygen requirement for each state in line with the active cases in the state, and maximum efforts were made to align Oxygen Allocation to the estimated demand for each state, said the data.
Other factors such as availability of hospital infrastructure including ICU beds were also taken into account while finalising allocation, it said.
The Oxygen allocation process has continuously evolved to streamline the distribution of oxygen in the country. Oxygen allocation to states and the Union Territories (UTs) is dynamic in nature, based on requirement as per Health Ministry norms, and consultation with states and UTs, manufacturers and other stakeholders.
The data further mentioned that oxygen production has increased from 5,700 Metric Tonne (MT) per day in August last year to 9,446 MT per day in May this year, said the data, adding the production capacity has increased from 6,817 MT per day to 7,314 MT per day, and capacity utilisation has gone up from 84 per cent to 129 per cent during this period.