Many hospitals in Delhi are facing acute oxygen crisis due to shortage of supply which has caused a face-off between the AAP government and Centre (Photo for representative purpose only)
NEW DELHI: Delhi government on Saturday said that the Delhi high court pulled up Centre and asked it to immediately examine re-allocating Delhi quota of oxygen from nearby plants.
Many hospitals in Delhi are facing acute oxygen crisis due to shortage of supply which has caused a face-off between the AAP government and Centre. The Delhi HC on Saturday heard a hospital’s petition over shortage of oxygen for critical Covid patients.
During the proceedings, Delhi government stated that as against 480 MT of oxygen allocated, only 309 MT was received by Delhi on April 23, which is the main cause behind the crisis in Delhi’s hospitals. This follows a continuous trend where daily oxygen delivered is way short of quota assigned to Delhi.
Delhi government has also stated that the root cause of this issue was that in the revised allocation plan devised by Central government, for the first time ever, 102 MT of supply for Delhi has been allocated to plants far away in Odisha and West Bengal, more than 1000 kms away. “This was done without Centre making any corresponding arrangement for tankers to supply this oxygen or any consultative process with Delhi government,” Delhi government said in a statement.
“Taking this into account, HC pulled up the SG and directed him to ask the Empowered Group of Central government to re-examine this plan and to ensure plants closer to Delhi are allocated so that same tankers can make higher number of trips,” the government stated.
In the allocation plan for Delhi before April 21, one of the suppliers, INOX, was allotted 140 MT from its plants nearby Delhi. On several days earlier (April 15 and 16), INOX supplied even greater than 140 MT and up to 160 MT. “However, in the revised plan issued by Central government on April 21, supply from INOX from nearby plants was suddenly curtailed to 100 MT, whereas far way plants that are in no position to supply to Delhi were assigned over 100 MT. This irrational allocation is the chief cause behind the gap between allocated and actual oxygen supplied to Delhi,” government stated.
Delhi government said that the Centre threw its hands up when asked during the proceedings on Saturday why adequate cryogenic tankers haven not been arranged for supply of oxygen from faraway plants.
Delhi Government submitted the factual position that as on date, there is a vast shortage of cryogenic tankers across the country and Centre is best placed to allocate adequate capacity to each state or if required import more tankers. “Delhi being a non-industrial state, it does not have a ready fleet of Cryogenic tankers like many other industrial states. To this, without producing any concrete examples or numbers, Central officials once again evaded any kind of responsibility and said that some states are taking care of their tanker requirements and therefore Delhi should also do so,” government said.
“The HC pulled up the Centre on this attitude and directed the Centre to work closely with Delhi government and use any means possible to arrange adequate number of Cryogenic tankers. Delhi government assured the HC that it will work collaboratively with Centre to press more Cryogenic Tankers into service, even as it continues to demand Centre to re-allocate its quota to nearby plants generating medical oxygen,” government stated.