Spirits maker Radico Khaitan to set up oxygen plants in UP
Radico Khaitan has already identified Rampur, Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Mahoba and Chitrakoot districts for setting up oxygen generating units. Most of these plants are likely to be established in the vicinity of the state government hospitals in the next few weeks.
Lucknow / May 16, 2021
Radico Khaitan, one of India’s leading spirits makers, is planning to set up five oxygen plants in Uttar Pradesh, which is currently battling O2 supply constraints amid a stiff second wave of Covid-19.
Owing to the prevailing liquid medical oxygen (LMO) crisis, the Yogi Adityanath government has adopted a 360 degree approach to ramp up its availability. This entails setting up of oxygen plants in the public and private sectors, while promising a host of incentives to the private companies for such investments.
According to sources, Radico Khaitan has already identified Rampur, Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Mahoba and Chitrakoot districts for setting up these oxygen generating units. Most of these plants are likely to be established in the vicinity of the state government hospitals in the next few weeks.
Radico Khaitan CMD Lalit Khaitan said the company would set up the oxygen plants in consultation with the UP government and to cater the requirements of the specific regions.
Meanwhile, Khaitan, while addressing a virtual conference organised by the PHD chamber of Commerce and Industry recently, suggested the Yogi government for converting schools, colleges and hotels into temporary hospitals to fight the pandemic.
He also supported the idea of encouraging the private sector to supplement the availability of vital medical equipment and supplies, including drugs, oxygen etc.
In fact, the state was in the process of setting up 300 new oxygen plants across 75 districts to overcome the shortage of the commodity.
At present, the UP government is supplying more than 1,000 tonnes of medical oxygen to Covid hospitals on a daily basis.
The UP government is also drafting an oxygen policy to promote the participation of the private sector, especially MSMEs, to meet the growing demand for LMO. The state has invited suggestions from industry to formulate a robust policy.
“The policy would offer incentives to encourage private investment in the oxygen space,” UP MSME and export promotion minister Sidharth Nath Singh said in his message to industry.
Besides, the CM has instructed officials to float a global tender for procuring cryogenic tankers. So far, 90 tankers have been pressed into service to transport oxygen in UP apart from oxygen express trains and air transport for quicker transportation of the commodity.
The UP government has urged the private sector companies to set up oxygen plants under the corporate social responsibility (CSR) heads.
(Virendra Singh Rawat is a Lucknow based journalist, who writes on contemporary issues of industry, economy, agriculture, infrastructure, budget etc)