A video showing three men pasting a large sticker of Reliance Foundation and Reliance Industries on a cryogenic tanker is viral with a false claim that the Mukesh Ambani-led company is stealing credit for the oxygen supplied by Saudi Arabia.
The country's already overburned healthcare infrastructure has been brought to its knees with a deadly second wave of COVID-19 infections . A number of deaths have been reported for want of oxygen.The oxygen crisis has been precipitated by a shortage of tankers and the complex logistics of transportation from distant locations — not by a dearth of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO), the Indian Express reported.
India's major steel and petroleum companies are using their facilities to produce medical oxygen. Indian Railways is transporting medical oxygen through its Oxygen Express. The Indian Air Force is also airlifting empty cryogenic tankers from abroad. Several countries have come forward to help India in its hour of need by supplying PPE kits, ventilators, oxygen concentrators.
Against this backdrop, the video has gone viral with a Hindi caption with the video translating to 'Oxygen has come from Saudi Arabia and the credit is being given to Reliance. This is height of shamelessness'.
(Hindi: #ऑक्सीजन सऊदी अरब से आया है और नाम रिलायंस का। #हद है नीचता की।)
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A press release on Reliance Industries' website dated May 1, 2021 detailed how the company was ramping up its capacity and production to supply medical grade liquid oxygen from its refinery-cum-petrochemical complex in Jamnagar and other facilites to the rest of the country.
The statement also mentioned that Reliance had airlifted 24 containers into India from Saudi Arabia, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Thailand adding 500 MT(metric tonnes) of transportation capacity for liquid oxygen. These containers would help to transport oxygen from Reliance's facilities
The company thanked Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco, BP and the Indian Air Force in sourcing and transporting these containers. It also said more containers would be air freighted over the next few days.
Cryogenic tankers which store medical oxygen at -180 degrees C are extremely costly and thus empty tankers are being airlifted into India from overseas with the help of the IAF.
A spokesperson for Reliance Industries declined to comment on the video but sent us images showing empty containers being transported by plane, and oxygen being filled up at the Jamnagar refinery.
Separately BOOM found news reports which stated Saudi Arabia has sent 80 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen to India in the backdrop of the raging pandemic.
The Embassy of India, Riyadh had on April 24 tweeted about the same.
Adani group chairperson Gautam Adani also tweeted that the first shipment of 4 ISO cryogenic tanks with 80 tons of liquid oxygen was on its way from Dammam to Mundra.
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