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UPPCB cuts red tape, allows units to produce oxygen

LUCKNOW: Considering adequate supply of oxygen in the shortest possible time as top priority under prevailing health emergency situation, the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has decided to allow units to produce oxygen for medical purpose even if the permission is pending with the authority.
The decision was taken on Saturday evening after which the official order was released with the signatures of member secretary Ashish Tiwari and chief environment officer Amit Chandra.
According to the order, a copy of which is in possession of TOI, UPPCB has decided that any new or existing industrial unit may set up oxygen manufacturing plant or undertake modification or capacity enhancement in the existing unit, by filing an application on Nivesh Mitra portal (www.niveshmitra.up.nic.in) and start manufacturing oxygen by duly complying with the standards of emission and effluent as prescribed under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act.
Following the order, IFFCO’s unit in Aonla, Bareilly, which is engaged in production of 16.5 tons per day (TPD) nitrogen, has started working to upgrade its facility to produce 130 cubic metre oxygen per hour.
Talking to TOI, member secretary, UPPCB, Ashish Tiwari said, “Aonla’s IFFCO unit has applied for permission online to modify their system to produce oxygen for medical purpose with capacity to refill 450 cylinders of D-type with capacity of 46.7 litres each and 150 cylinders of B type with 10 litres capacity per day.”
“Since we are facing an extraordinary health emergency, the approval for modification in plants has become secondary. Plant operators can start production of oxygen at the earliest,” he said.
“Our nodal officers will visit plants later to inspect if all parameters of modification have been met or not,” he added.
IFFCO’s Phulpur unit in Prayagraj, which has a capacity to produce 36 TPD nitrogen, is also upgrading its system to produce 130 cubic metres oxygen per hour. Both these plants are expected to start operations by May-end.
Besides these two public units, two private fertilizer manufacturing plants in Sambhal and Shahjahanpur, each having capacity of producing eight cubic metres per hour and 30 cubic metres per hour of oxygen will start operations by May 10 and 15, respectively. All four plants will use cryogenic systems.
Currently, there are 19 oxygen plants in the state including eight in Lucknow, two each in Aligarh, Jhansi and Moradabad and one each in Ayodhya, Basti, Varanasi, Bareilly and Muzaffarnagar which produce 168.9 TPD of oxygen.
Apart from 19 oxygen plants, there are five other nitrogen-cum-oxygen manufacturing units which are producing 71.86 TPD oxgyen.

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