The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO), which comes under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has taken several measures to ensure the uninterrupted supply of oxygen to hospitals and other healthcare facilities during the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
PESO has also taken steps to address the problems faced by petroleum, explosives, oxygen and industrial gas industries.
"Instructions have been issued by PESO Headquarter to all its offices to ensure grant of licences for storage and transport of medical oxygen urgently and an advisory has been issued by PESO on March 25 to Principal Secretaries (Home) of all States, requesting them to allow uninterrupted transportation and manufacturing of medical oxygen and nitrous oxide in line with MHA order dated March 24 on the measures to be taken for containment of COVID-19 in the country," according to a release by the organization.
It has also extended the validity of licenses for transportation of oxygen and other gases, which were expiring on March 31 to June 30, 2020.
Apart from this, "cylinders used for storage of compressed oxygen, CNG, LPG and other gases, which are due for statutory hydro testing on March 31, shall be deemed to be due for testing on June 30. And, pressure vessels used for storage and transportation of oxygen, LPG and other gases, which are due for statutory testing for safety relief valves and hydro testing from March 15 to June 30, 2020, shall be deemed to be due for testing on June 30, 2020."
Furthermore the validity of licenses "for storage, transportation, sale, use and manufacturing of explosives and fireworks which will expire on March 31 has been extended up to June 30. Fee for late renewal of licences will also not be charged."
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Tuesday announced a 21-day lockdown in the entire country to deal with the spread of coronavirus, saying that "social distancing" is the only option to deal with the disease, which spreads rapidly.
In a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Modi said that it is vital to break the chain of the disease and experts have said that at least 21 days are needed for it.
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