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Amid LAC row, Leh boosts oxygen infrastructure in forward areas

The Times of India logo The Times of India 31-07-2021 Sanjay Dutta
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LEH: Amid continued stand-off with China, the Leh administration is augmenting oxygen supply in the forward areas by adding new plants, a move that will boost the fight against Covid-19 in ‘zero-mile’ villages and far-flung settlements along northern and eastern Ladakh.

“We have a new oxygen plant operating at Diskit in the Nubra sub-division earlier this month and a tender has been awarded for another plant at Nyoma sub-division to improve oxygen supply in these areas. Both are rated at 100 lpm (litre per minute) capacity,” deputy commissioner Shrikant Balasaheb Suse told TOI.

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Diskit is 113km north of Leh and 11km from the Army’s Siachen Brigade headquarters. The area has villages on the border with POK on its western flank. Nyoma is 180km east of Leh and forms the supply roadhead to villages in the Chushul and Indus sectors along the eastern part of LAC.

Suse recently inspected the healthcare infrastructure in forward villages to take stock of their Covid preparedness. The administration is also weighing the option of setting up plants at Tangtse, the Chushul brigade headquarters and Khaltse, some 90km south of Leh.

The new plants will ensure continued oxygen supply even in winter when road connectivity, especially with Nubra and Tangtse, become vulnerable to heavy snow and avalanches on the high passes – Khardung La and Chang La, respectively.

Strict monitoring and medical planning by the district administration had averted oxygen shortage in Leh even though cases spurted during the second wave. The Ladakh administration had started work on augmenting oxygen supply right after the first wave had ebbed. Leh and Kargil has one oxygen plant each in the government sector. Leh has two more plants in the private sector. One plant for Zanskar sub-division of Kargil district was also under consideration, divisional commissioner Saugat Biswas had recently told TOI.

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