There is a tussle between the Karnataka government and JSW Steel over the supply of medical oxygen, as the state continues to see a shortage. The state government had on June 1 given a 24-hour notice to the company to fulfil the oxygen supply to the state as mandated by the Centre, but officials told CNBC-TV18 on Thursday that the company was yet to fulfil the allotment.
In a June 1 notice, the state government asked JSW Steel to fulfil the Centre-mandated supply of medical oxygen within 24 hrs and had threatened legal action under the Disaster Management Act for non-compliance.
The state cited inconsistency in the daily supply of 580 ton of liquid medical oxygen from the company as was mandated by the Centre. Karnataka officials said that on some days the supply from JSW Steel was less than 50 percent of the mandated allocation. While they did not specify how many days the allocation was lower, officials say there have been inconsistencies since May 24.
JSW Steel did not respond to CNBC-TV18's queries. However, sources said that there was a breakdown at one of their oxygen-producing units in Vijaynagar in Karnataka, which caused certain disruptions in the supply of oxygen. The company is currently working to recommence the unit.
Karnataka says JSW Steel's oxygen supply constitutes 70 percent of oxygen from plants in the state, and that the oxygen shortfall has impacted the treatment of COVID-19 positive patients.
In its notice, the government has also asked JSW Steel to create a buffer stock of liquid medical oxygen for the state.
While cases in Karnataka have fallen over recent weeks, the state continues to see a shortage in the supply of oxygen. An official, on the condition of anonymity, claimed Karnataka is still seeing a shortage of 300-400 tonnes of oxygen daily.
(Edited by: By Abhishek Jha)
First Published: IST