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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Delhi HC tells the Centre to give oxygen today “by whatever means”!

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The Delhi High Court on Saturday came adamant and hard on the Center regarding the requirement of oxygen in the capital. The court has warned the Center that they must supply the 490 metric tonnes of oxygen Delhi has been allocated by today, or face contempt.

The Delhi High Court told the Center while hearing the petitions on the state of health infrastructure, and how is it coping with the second wave COVID-19. The court said that the national capital should be given their full quota of oxygen today “by whatever means”.

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On Saturday afternoon, 8 people, including a doctor died at Batra Hospital due to scarcity of oxygen. According to the reports, the hospital’s oxygen supply stopped for 80 minutes, as a result of which, 8 patients lost their lives. The court said referring to the incident, “Water has gone above the head. Now we mean business. You have to arrange everything now. You have made the allocations. You have to fulfil it. Eight lives have been lost. We can’t shut our eyes to it.”

The High Court stated, “We direct the centre to ensure that Delhi receives its 490 tonnes (of medical oxygen) today by whatever means. It falls on the centre to arrange tankers as well. The allocation was made on April 20 and not even one day Delhi has received its allocated supply. If this is not implemented, we may even consider initiating contempt proceedings.”

The court also questioned the Centre about why the four oxygen tankers meant for Delhi haven’t been released by the Rajasthan government despite the official orders.

The HC observed, “Delhi is not an industrial state; it does not have cryogenic tankers. So, it falls on the Central government to arrange tankers as well… as it only remains a paper allocation. The allocation to Delhi has been in force from April 20 and not for a single day Delhi has received allocated supply,”

In addition, the court has warned the Centre with contempt action. It stated, “In case of non-compliance, we may consider initiating contempt proceedings.” The court also declined the Centre’s request to adjourn the hearing till Monday saying, “Enough is enough. No one is asking for more than allocated. If you can’t supply the allocation today, we will see your explanation on Monday,”

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