At a time when oxygen shortage is being reported from across India, DoNER minister Dr Jitendra Singh said efforts are on to set up oxygen plants in many remote and far-flung areas of the Northeast states.

DoNER minister Singh said an oxygen plant has already been set up at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh with financial support provided by the ministry.

The DoNER ministry is also actively considering the proposal of Arunachal government for five mobile oxygen vans at a cost of Rs 5 crore, Dr Singh said on Monday.

In a review meeting held via video conferencing, Dr Singh expressed satisfaction that the united fund of Rs 25 crore given to northeastern states last March for gap funding to fight the COVID19 outbreak effectively has proved a boon for many states for purchase of vital health equipment in many hospitals.

The Union minister claimed that there is no shortage of oxygen in any of the Northeastern states and some of them are having surplus stock due to timely supply last year.

Dr Singh also recalled that last year in the early days of Lockdown-1, the DonER ministry has stepped in pre-emptively and placed an amount of Rs 25 crore at the disposal of northeastern states for preparatory steps to tackle the pandemic, even though at that time the northeastern states had not been that much affected.

At that time many of the Northeast states like Sikkim and Manipur were absolutely Corona-free, he claimed.

The DoNER minister informed that for the second consecutive year, 100% budget of the ministry has been spent for the current financial year well in advance before the end of the fiscal.

Dr Jitendra Singh also recalled that soon after the declaration of the Lockdown in March 2020, decision was taken on the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Air Cargo flights carrying essential supplies will be operated on priority in the northeastern region as well as other distant regions.

The minister added that this time also, all measures are being taken to help the northeastern states on priority basis.

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