An oxygen tanker from Bokaro in Jharkhand going to Sagar in Madhya Pradesh was held up during transit in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. The tanker was stopped near Fatehpur in UP and subsequently, it was diverted to UP by the police, sources in the Madhya Pradesh government said.
“The tanker was diverted towards Jhansi. It was done following instructions from the level of a senior official of the UP Home Department,” a senior officer in the Madhya Pradesh government told NDTV, asking not to be named.
For inter-state transport of oxygen tankers, it’s the responsibility of local police to escort it in every state through which it is passing, sources in the Madhya Pradesh government have said.
“ACS Home UP has given clearance on phone for transportation of oxygen tanker coming from Bokaro to Bundelkhand Medical College, Sagar. Certain news spread in social media that UP has stopped it. It is baseless and not factual at all,” Madhya Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajesh Rajora said.
Madhya Pradesh government sources said following phone calls to the UP government, the matter was resolved on Sunday evening. Had the tanker not been stuck in UP for hours, it would have reached Sagar in Madhya Pradesh by Sunday evening.
Last week, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan reportedly said adjoining states were hampering smooth movement of oxygen tankers.
Last year, Mr Chouhan criticised the Maharashtra government over oxygen supply. “The issue of lack of oxygen supply was concerning me for a while. I spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and requested him that during such a crisis, he should not stop the supply,” Mr Chouhan said.
The BJP is in power in both Madhya Pradesh and UP.
Many districts in Madhya Pradesh are reportedly facing shortage of medical oxygen. The state needs 400 tonnes of liquid oxygen daily.