As COVID patients lose their lives for want of oxygen, initiatives are yet to be taken to buy an oxygen plant for the district hospitals of Sudurpaschim Province.

The province Ministry of Finance and Panning had given the nod to the Ministry of Social Development to buy a big oxygen plant along with six mini-plants six months ago. The social development ministry had then written to the district hospitals for confirmation of budget of Rs 80 lakh each on April 19.

However, the district hospitals are stuck with the tender even though they received the letter almost one month ago.

Meanwhile, coronavirus patients are losing their lives due to lack of oxygen in the district hospitals.

Chairman of Bajhang District Hospital Lal Bahadur Khadka said that the first tender was cancelled due to a technical mistake. He clarified that it was not cancelled due to any dispute. He added that the tender was called again.

The province government had written letters to six hospitals of the hilly districts except Dadeldhura, saying that Rs 80 lakh would be offered to each hospital. Despite this, the process of installing the oxygen plant was halted.

Superintendent Dr Aadarsha Limbu of Darchula District Hospital said that no supplier had shown interests till yesterday. He said the suppliers did not know about the price.

Thus, the government's plan to install oxygen plants was delayed.

Baitadi District Hospital has yet to call a tender, while other district hospitals say the oxygen plants have to be installed within two weeks.

Dr Basanta Joshi, Chief of Baitadi District Hospital said the process had been forwarded, but a notice had not been issued. The district hospitals of Doti, Bajura, and Achham are yet to start the process of installing their oxygen plants.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 14, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.