Using CNG cascades in the fight against Covid-19

Vol 23, PW 11 (09 Apr 20) People & Policy

Indian authorities are thinking of innovative ways to marshall resources in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

A gas sector source tells us the oil ministry is actively considering commandeering all CNG cascades (truck-mounted cylinder stacks) to ferry oxygen to Covid-19 patients admitted to intensive care units in makeshift hospitals that might be needed if existing facilities run out of space. On April 5, the oil ministry's gas department sent out a communication to CGD companies asking for data on an "urgent basis" on the number of CNG cascades they have across the country.

"As you are all aware, a war footing effort is underway to create enough medical facilities with ICU (Intensive Care Unit) facilities to fight against Covid-19 in the country," said the communication from Mohit Sehrawat, in the office of joint secretary gas pricing Ashish Chatterjee. "In this regard, it is being explored that if the need arises, the CNG cascade fleet may be utilised to supply and distribute medical oxygen to hospitals."

Adds Sehrawat: "With this in view, it is requested to provide city-wise availability of the number of CNG cascades, their estimated carrying capacity and radius of the service zone." Sehrawat asks CGD companies to provide the information by 8.30am on April 6 either by WhatsApp on his cell number or by e-mail to his oil ministry or GAIL addresses.