Burnpur (West Bengal) [India], May 19 (ANI): Union Minister of Steel and Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday inaugurated a 200-bedded Jumbo COVID Care Facility by Steel Authority of India (SAIL)-Integrated Steel Plant (ISP) in West Bengal's Burnpur, for COVID-infected patients.
The Minister of State for Steel Faggan Singh Kulaste, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Babul Supriyo, South Asansol MLA Agnimitra Paul, and SAIL Chairperson Soma Mondal were among those present in the virtual ceremony.
As per an official press release, Pradhan spoke on the occasion, lauded the steel sector for rising to the occasion, by fulfilling the majority of the requirements of liquid medical oxygen of the country. He said that the steel plants have shown IspatiIrada. The steel plants reduced usage of gaseous oxygen to increase the production of liquid medical oxygen (LMO). He said that in the first wave of COVID, the peak demand was less than 3000 metric tonnes (MT) per day, which has surged to about 10,000 MT per day now, out of which over 4000 MT is being provided by the steel plants, including those from the private sector.
Pradhan also mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for setting up COVID-care centres near the production centres of gaseous oxygen and said that he is glad that today SAIL is starting its first such COVID-care facility with gaseous oxygen in Burnpur. He said that Gaseous Oxygen is difficult to transport over a long distance, and the Steel, as well as the petroleum sectors, have been quick to implement the directions, which will provide relief in this time of the pandemic.
Pradhan called upon the COVID care centre at Burnpur to take care of all the people who are its stakeholders or live in the vicinity, including the contract labourers, local hawkers and shopkeepers. He said that it should be part of the safety protocol that those coming in the township, are eligible to get health facilities there. The Minister said that a testing and tracking facility should also be established in the centre.
Besides that, providing amenities, the maintenance and cleanliness of the centre should be undertaken by the ISP (Integrated Steel Plant). The Minister called upon the SAIL to undertake vaccination at a massive scale to cover its employees, their families, Contract employees, and others who are part of the ecosystem of the company.
Kulaste thanked SAIL for its sterling role in this time of crisis. He said that SAIL has already provided over 69,000 MT of LMO so far. He said that the Company is also expanding its health facilities and helping the common man. All this is indicative of our resolve to fight this invisible enemy, he added.
The media release further stated, "All the five Integrated Steel Plants (ISPs) of SAIL have taken upon themselves the task of setting up Oxygenated COVID care Hospitals. ISP Burnpur is first off the block to create 500 bedded Jumbo COVID Care Facility with the support of gaseous oxygen in phases. In the first phase, SAIL-ISP Burnpur has converted its 32 room Chhotadighari Vidyapeeth HS School into 200 bedded Jumbo COVID Care Facility which has been put into service today. In a short time of less than three weeks, the school building has been renovated to meet the requirements of a hospital. A structural steel ramp has been created for the smooth movement of patients to the first floor. Provision of 8 bedded ICU has also been kept in the new facility. Necessary requirements for ICU like compressed air and suction line are being done. A 1.5 km pipeline has been laid to carry the gaseous Oxygen from the plant to the facility. The centre will be handed over to the district administration for operation, and the Plant will continue to provide free water, electricity and Oxygen."
The steel plants LMO supplies have been ramped up from 538 MT on April 1 this year. On Tuesday, SAIL contributed 1345 MT of LMO while the steel sector's share was 3914 MT. (ANI)