“Not The Time To Sensationalise”: Centre vs Delhi In Court Over Oxygen

Highlights

  • Multiple hospitals in Delhi are struggling with supply of medical oxygen
  • Delhi could have given us list of hospitals facing shortage: Centre
  • Delhi has said that plants allotted to the state are located far away

The Delhi government should not “sensationalise” the oxygen shortage in the national capital, the Centre said in High Court today as desperate appeals for help poured in from multiple hospitals in the city that are struggling to keep hundreds of Covid patients breathing. “Let Delhi government give us the list of hospitals (facing shortage). We will attend to it. We are also concerned. If they want to make this only for reporting… than we can’t say anything,” the Centre said as the hearing over the capital’s critical oxygen shortage resumed ahead of time on the third day.  

After the Max group yesterday, another hospital moved court today as its oxygen supplies run dangerously low. Saroj Super Speciality Hospital which appealed for release of oxygen by supplier INOX, had its supply soon after.  But meanwhile, at least six hospitals flagged their rapidly depleting stocks. One said its stocks are completely drained.

“This is not an occasion to sensationalise. The Delhi government could have given us this list of hospitals which have sent SOS for oxygen,” the Centre said.

In its submission today, Delhi had said though the oxygen quota for the city has been hiked, the plants allotted are located far away, leading to huge logistical problems.

“Some plants are in West Bengal, Odisha etc. Since morning we are getting various SOS calls from hospitals for oxygen. Two units are in UP and Haryana. In Haryana, officials have taken over the plant,” the Delhi government said.

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The Centre questioned if the Delhi government had reached out to Union Secretaries. “Did you at least send any message to the Centre even telephonically?” said the Centre, but later acknowledged there were some logistical issues.

“You (the Centre) have done the allocation but the local administration is obstructing the movement of the oxygen. What is the purpose of allocation if the transportation is not allowed?” the exasperated court said.

The judges suggested that the Centre handle the issue. “Let Panipat give to Haryana and increase INOX allocation for Delhi,” the judges said.

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