Centre has asked urea makers to set up oxygen plantsThe Centre on Monday urged upon urea makers to set up medical oxygen plants in their premises amid major shortage of oxygen in hospitals across the country due to multiplying cases of Corona virus infections.Union Fertiliser Minister D V Sadananda Gowda’s directive came after cooperative major IFFCO decided to dedicate four of its plants for production of medical oxygen in their premises, to ramp up supply of oxygen amid spike in Covid cases.IFFCO earlier today had announced that it will set up four medical oxygen plants with an investment of Rs 30 crore in the next 15 days in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha, in a bid to supply it for free to hospitals.The minister hailed IFFCO’s decision in a series of tweets and said that the government is taking steps to increase production and availability of medical oxygen.”Kudos to @IFFCO_PR for dedicating their four plants for production of medical oxygen. I request other urea units to kindly follow the suit wherever possible,” Mr Gowda said in his tweets.The minister also urged other urea companies to follow suit and set up oxygen plants wherever possible, and stated that this is a time to fight the pandemic together and with full strength.Mr Gowda said that IFFCO”s oxygen plant at Kalol will produce 33,000 litre of medical-grade oxygen per day. “Company plans to set up 3 more oxy plants @ Aonla, Phulpur & Paradeep. I congratulate IFFCO for quick thinking & action in fight against #covid19,” the minister added.”IFFCO will give free oxygen to hospitals, each cylinder of 46.7 litres,” IFFCO Managing Director and CEO U S Awasthi said.He has also said that IFFCO will fill up the oxygen cylinders free of cost for hospitals, but they need to bring their own cylinders for refill. A security deposit will be taken if cylinders taken from IFFCO to avoid hoarding of oxygen.There have been reports of shortage of medical oxygen for COVID-19 patients in different parts of the country in the last few days due to alarming rise in coronavirus cases. The Centre on Monday had also called a meeting of chief secretaries and senior officials of 10 states and Delhi to discuss the issue of medical oxygen.