HD Kumaraswamy

Former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy writes to PM Modi on oxygen shortage

H D Kumaraswamy, Former Chief Minister of Karnataka :

Respected Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji,

I write to you with concern about a deepening crisis in Karnataka with regard to shortage of oxygen. Am sure you have already been told about the death of 24 people in a Government Hospital in Chamarajanagar district, yesterday (03 May), due to shortage of oxygen.

This morning, four more deaths were reported due to a similar shortage from a hospital in Gulbarga district. The two districts are at opposite ends of the State. Deaths in both districts were preventable. After these two incidents in quick succession, there is panic enveloping in other districts of the State too.

Some Bangalore city hospitals, I learn, have been frantically messaging about the end of their stocks since this morning. The Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka has been quoted in the media as saying that if Karnataka were allowed to fully utilise the oxygen it produces then there would be no shortage.

However, there is no accurate picture accessible on the shortage and there is no solution visible in the horizon. This needs to be tackled expeditiously, and therefore I seek your urgent intervention.

As per a reliable estimate, to offer an example, the adjoining districts of Mysore and Chamarajanagar require 70 tonnes of oxygen per day. This is given the volume of cases and severity of infections in the two districts. But, they are able to access only an average of 20 tonnes daily. This should give you a fair idea of the existing shortage in the State.

The inputs that I have been personally receiving from people across the State, and more specifically from districts like Tumkur, Belgaum, Dharwad and Hassan, are alarming and indicative of a crisis that is fast expanding. If the State administration does not act briskly, and if it is not ably supported by the centre then my sense is that a greater tragedy is likely to unfold. The people of the State would be grateful to you for any direction the federal Government may issue to address the oxygen shortage forthwith.

With warm regards,
Yours sincerely,
H D Kumaraswamy

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