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This post misleads people by blaming only States for the delay in installing the PSA Oxygen plants

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A post is being shared on social media with a claim that the Central Government allocated funds to the States on 05 January 2021 from the PM CARES fund to install PSA Oxygen plants, but the States failed to install the required oxygen plants. Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be found here.

Claim: The Central Government allocated funds to the States on 05 January 2021 from the PM CARES fund, but the States failed to install the required oxygen plants.

Fact: The PM CARES Fund Trust has allocated Rs.201.58 crores for the installation of 162 dedicated PSA Medical Oxygen Generation Plants to the Central Medical Supply Store (CMSS) (an autonomous body of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), not to the States. The responsibility of establishing the plants lies with the CMSS which is a part of the Central Government. The routine operations and maintenance are to be looked after by the hospitals/States. If it was the failure of only certain States (like Maharashtra and Delhi, which are mentioned in the post), then the delay in installing the oxygen plants might have been restricted to only those States. But, as of 18 April 2021, only 33 out of the 162 sanctioned oxygen plants were installed in the whole country. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

When we searched about the information mentioned in the post, a press release by the Prime Minister’s Office in January 2021 was found in the search results. In the press release, it can be read that the PM CARES Fund Trust allocated Rs.201.58 crores for the installation of 162 dedicated PSA Medical Oxygen Generation Plants in public health facilities.  It was not mentioned anywhere that the money was given to the States.

The Central Medical Supply Store (CMSS), an autonomous body of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, was given the responsibility of the procurement. Out of Rs.201.58 crores allocation, Rs.137.33 crores were allocated towards supply and commissioning of the plants and Management fee of Central Medical Supply Store (CMSS) and around Rs.64.25 crores towards Comprehensive Annual Maintenance Contract. However, in the press release, it can be read that the government hospitals where these plants are to be installed have been identified in consultation with the States/UTs concerned.

The tender document, related to 150 PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) oxygen generation plants, which was released by the Central Medical Supply Store (CMSS) in October 2020 can be seen here. The names of 10 hospitals in Maharashtra and 8 hospitals in Delhi can be seen in the list of 150 oxygen generation plant locations given in the document. The responsibility of establishing the plants lies with the CMSS. The routine operations and maintenance are to be looked after by the hospitals/States. The list of items to be completed by the hospitals can be read in the tender document.

In a series of tweets on 18 April 2021, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has said that out of 162 sanctioned PSA plants, only 33 have been installed; another 59 plants were expected to be installed by end of April 2021, and the remaining 80 plants by end of May 2021. They have also mentioned that the States have appreciated the installation of PSA oxygen plants. Recently, BJP MP Kishan Reddy has tweeted that he visited Gachibowli TIMS COVID Hospital in Hyderabad and reviewed the progress of the oxygen plant being set up by the Central Government.

The ‘LOA (Letter of Acceptance)’ related to the tender issued on 150 PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) oxygen generation plants was reportedly given in December 2020. The related documents can be seen here and here. Also, a company has been blacklisted recently on 13 April 2021 for not following the required procedures under the tender. When ‘Scroll’, a news organization, contacted the successful bidders and the listed hospitals, the companies have blamed hospitals for the delay whereas the hospitals blamed the companies for the delay. An article published by ‘The Print’ on the issue can be read here

If it was the failure of only certain States (like Maharashtra and Delhi, which are mentioned in the post), then the delay in installing the oxygen plants might have been restricted to only those States. But, till 18 April 2021, only 33 out of the 162 sanctioned oxygen plants were installed in the whole country. So, it is not correct to blame only States for the delay in installing the plants across the country.  Recently, the PMO has announced that ‘the PM CARES Fund has given in-principle approval for allocation of funds for installation of 551 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Medical Oxygen Generation Plants inside public health facilities in the country.

Based on the information shared by the PIB & MoHFW, below are the details of allocation for each state and the number of installed plants as of 18 April 2021.

Aam Aadmi Party through their official Twitter handle has also stated that the Delhi government has not received any amount from the Central Government to establish the oxygen plants.

To sum it up, the post misleads people by blaming only States for the delay in installing the oxygen plants. Also, the PM CARES Fund Trust has allocated Rs. 201.58 crores for the installation of 162 dedicated PSA Medical Oxygen Generation Plants to the Central Medical Supply Store (CMSS), not to the States.

This story has been published as part of the Ekta News Coalition, a collaboration of six fact-checking organisations in India.

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