New Delhi: The transport ministry has done away with the requirement of permit for transport vehicles carrying Oxygen upto 31st March 2021, in order to ensure its smooth movement across the country.

The ministry issued a notification to this effect on Monday, under Section 66 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

The move has been taken “in view of certain issues brought to the notice of this Ministry that there are problems being faced by certain Transport Vehicles operators for the carriage and transportation and delivery of Oxygen Cylinders or Oxygen Tanks across the States or within a State, and that oxygen is an important item required for the treatment of COVID-19,” a senior transport ministry official told ET.

“This will ensure the smooth movement and further ensure supply of oxygen across the country,” the official said.

As Covid-19 cases surge in India, several States have reported shortage of oxygen. States like Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka last week faced an acute shortage of oxygen supply after Maharashtra, which has been the worst affected by the pandemic, decided to halt supply to these States.

In states like West Bengal, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, the oxygen requirement for Covid-19 affected patients has increased by more than four to five times.

The transport ministry’s order Monday will help remove the bottleneck in oxygen supply, especially in cases where some States are dependent on other States for their requirements.

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