Industrial units supplying life saving oxygen to several major hospitals across Kashmir are witnessing a 50 percent decline in the production due to unscheduled power cuts in the industrial areas.
Oxygen production unit holders today said that they are not able to maintain the desired supply of liquid oxygen to hospitals, as the output has went down due to the electricity shortage.
Irked due to frequent power cuts, unit holders, who visited Greater Kashmir office on Thursday threatened to "shut down their plants" incase Power Development Department does not address the issue.
Khonmoh-based industrialist, Muhammad IlyasBhat, whose unit deals with production of oxygen told Greater Kashmir that daily supply of almost 800 large and medium sized medicinal oxygen cylinders from each unit to hospitals has dropped by 50 percent due to frequent power cuts.
"We want to make it clear that in coming days if there is shortage of oxygen cylinders we should not be blamed for it. Our sector is quite essential as hospitals apart from their own production depend on commercial units such as ours and we are unable to fulfill their demands," said another unit holder Mushtaq Ahmad Ahanger, adding that power cuts between 8pm to 10pm every day along with frequent power interruptions during the day time has hit production badly.
"A power cut for even a few minutes means we lose out on several hours of production. It takes us almost 2-3 hours to restart the production process even after power supply is retained as we have to attain a certain pressure for bottling oxygen. We are unable to meet day-to-day supplies to hospitals," said Bhat. According to Bhat, supplies to major hospitals and primary health care centers have taken a hit ever since power supply became erratic since mid-November.
"Apart from major hospitals we also supply medium sized oxygen to primary health centers etc. We are not able to maintain this supply as production has decreased drastically since last few weeks," Bhat said.
In winters, there is tremendous increase of life saving oxygen cylinders by domestic users like elderly, COPD and asthma patients and shortage could prove fatal for them.
In a written statement, Industrialists' Association Khonmoh (IAK) urged concerned authorities to ensure uninterrupted power supply to industrial units especially ones such as medicinal oxygen producing units. "Most of the oxygen suppliers operating in our Industrial Estate supply to hospitals such as SKIMS, JVC, GMC and its associated hospitals. The government and PDD will be responsible in case there is any untoward incident due to lack of oxygen cylinders in days to come," said Sajad Ahmad Baba, secretary general, IAK.