The Centre Thursday told the Supreme Court that it has complied with its order and instead of 700 MT oxygen, it ensured a supply of 730 MT to Delhi for treating COVID-19 patients.
The Centre Thursday told the Supreme Court that it has complied with its order and instead of 700 MT oxygen, it ensured a supply of 730 MT to Delhi for treating COVID-19 patients. The apex court, while staying contempt proceedings initiated by Delhi High Court against central government officials for non-compliance of direction to supply 700 MT of oxygen to Delhi, had sought an answer from the Centre on Thursday morning.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah was informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, that a survey was conducted in 56 major hospitals of the national capital on May 4 and it revealed that they had significant stock of liquid medical oxygen (LMO). While granting the stay on contempt against the officials, the top court on Wednesday had made clear that it was not stopping the high court from monitoring COVID-19 management related issues.
It had also directed a meeting, even virtually, between officials of the Centre and Delhi government by last evening to discuss various aspects of augmenting the oxygen supply to the national capital. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the national capital received 730 metric tonnes of oxygen on May 5.
In a letter, Kejriwal said that it was for the first time the national capital received more than 700 metric tonnes of the life-saving gas. “Delhi has a consumption of 700 metric tonnes of oxygen on a daily basis. We have been urging the Centre on a regular basis to give us 700 metric tonnes. It was for the first time yesterday that Delhi received 730 metric tonnes,” he said in the letter in Hindi. He requested the prime minister that the national capital should be given this quantity everyday.
“I thank you from the bottom of my heart on behalf of Delhiites. I request you that Delhi should be given at least this much of oxygen on a daily basis and there should not be any reduction in this quantity. The whole of Delhi will be grateful to you,” he said. Hospitals across the national capital and its suburbs have been sending out SOS messages on social media about their depleting oxygen supplies.
On May 1, 12 COVID-19 patients, including a senior doctor, died at south Delhi’s Batra Hospital after the facility ran out of medical oxygen for around 80 minutes in the afternoon. The tragic incident occurred in less than two weeks of 20 coronavirus patients dying at Jaipur Golden Hospital and 25 at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, amid the oxygen crisis in the national capital.