Hindustan Times (East UP)
As acute Oxygen shortage hits Lko, citizens travel to other cities in search
LUCKNOW : Due to the rising number of deaths of Covid-19 patients caused by oxygen shortage in the state capital, people have started arranging for cylinders from other places.
People from Lucknow are travelling to Barabanki, Sitapur, Rae Bareli, Lakhimpur, Hardoi, Shahjahanpur, Bareilly, Moradabad and as far as Uttarakhand to get oxygen cylinders. The places continue to become farther everyday as authorities in Lucknow fail to make arrangements for oxygen.
On Wednesday, Sukhdev Singh a resident of Alambagh drove over 300 kilometres to Moradabad to buy an oxygen cylinder for his elder brother suffering from complications caused by Covid-19. “I decided to go to Moradabad when I failed to arrange an oxygen cylinder in Lucknow. It is also very hard to get him admitted to a hospital and his oxygen level was going down,” Singh said. Like Singh, 22 other people from Lucknow bought oxygen cylinders from the same firm: Basant Gas Company in Moradabad in the last two days. Dileep Singh, owner of Basant Gases Company, said, “In the last three-four days, more than 20 people from Lucknow have purchased oxygen cylinders from us. We have received more than a 100 inquiries from Lucknow for the availability of oxygen cylinders. We have kept some stock for our local customers and have started to decline requests from other cities.”
Similarly, in Bareilly, some 240 km from the state capital, traders of oxygen cylinders are receiving desperate inquiries from people in Lucknow. “More than 80% of our sales in the last week have been made to people from Lucknow. Now, our stocks have ended and we are declining orders of people from Lucknow,” said Mahendra Pal of Ashoka Gas Company in Bareilly.
Gas traders in Bareilly have exhausted their stocks and have written to the district administration to make arrangements for the liquid with which they make oxygen, so that they can continue the supply of oxygen. “Earlier, we got supply of the liquid twice every week. But now this liquid is being diverted to other cities. We have asked the authorities to restart our supply so that we can meet the demands of our customers,” said Rajendra Gupta, owner of Medical Gas Company in Bareilly.
The stocks of gas traders in Barabanki, Lakhimpur, Sitapur, Hardoi, Rai Bareli have also been
exhausted in the last few days due to the rise in demand from Lucknow. People are also travelling long distances to get Remdesivir. In Lucknow, the drug has vanished even from the black market where it was being sold at exorbitant rates. “I managed to get four vials of Remdesivir from Lalitpur , near MP, for my mother. The drug is not available anywhere in Lucknow,” said Somesh Kumar Rai, a resident of Telibagh area here.