Vedanta-owned Sterlite Copper on Thursday said it is awaiting the formation of the oversight committee and its recommendations, as directed by Supreme Court, in order to commence the necessary steps towards critical oxygen production.
The company is also looking forward to the restoration of power to the plant, Sterlite Copper said in a statement. Sterlite Copper’s oxygen plants have a capacity to produce 1,000 tonne oxygen daily.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed Vedanta to operate its closed plant to produce oxygen at Tuticorin while asking the state government to form a panel, including the district collector and the Tuticorin superintendent of police, to monitor activities at Vedanta’s plant.
Prior to SC order, an all-party meeting convened by Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had unanimously decided to allow Sterlite Copper plant to re-open to produce oxygen, with riders, amidst the looming oxygen crisis across the country triggered by Covid- 19 second wave.
Meanwhile, Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta, has pledged Rs 150 crore to help the country in its fight against the rapidly spreading second wave of Covid 19. This is over and above Rs 201 crore that was spent by the Vedanta group last year, said a statement by the Vedanta.
Vedanta will create additional capacity of 1,000 critical care beds in 10 cities pan-India. The critical care beds will be placed in state-of-the-art ‘field hospitals’ which will be attached to recognised and reputed hospitals.
Each facility will have 100 beds in an air-conditioned tent with full electrical support and designed specifically for Covid care. The critical care facilities will have 90 beds equipped with oxygen support while the remaining will have ventilator support.
Speaking on the initiative, Anil Agarwal, said, “We believe that this additional infrastructure that will be set up immediately will bring much-needed relief for those affected by this deadly virus. Vedanta will also provide essential medical equipment for our heroic doctors and healthcare workers.”
The states where the additional capacity of critical care beds will be created are Rajasthan, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Goa, Karnataka and Delhi NCR. The company has set a target for the first set of facilities to be ready and commissioned within 14 days and balance facilities will be augmented within 30 days. Vedanta has estimated this support for a minimum 6-month period.
Hindustan Zinc (HZL), ESL and Sesa Goa Iron Ore have stepped in to augment oxygen supplies to Covid-19 patients as part of the Vedanta Cares initiative. HZL is currently supplying 5 tonne (100% of liquid oxygen capacity) oxygen per day which can be used for medical treatment and is in the process of increasing it by another 2-3 tonne.
Sesa Goa Iron Ore Business is supplying 3 tonne liquid medical oxygen (LMO) daily to the Goa government and hospitals, while ESL, the Vedanta group’s steel maker, has registered its plant near Bokaro for LMO and has committed to supply up to 10 tonne oxygen daily.