Delhi received 309 MT oxygen as against allocated 480 MT oxygen: AAP govt tells HC

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New Delhi, Apr 24 (PTI) The AAP government on Saturday told the Delhi High Court that the national capital received 309 MT of medical oxygen against the allocated 480 MT on Friday, terming it as the main cause behind the oxygen crisis in the city hospitals.

The ruling AAP, in a statement, said the crisis follows a continuous trend where daily oxygen delivered was way short of the quota assigned to Delhi.

The Delhi High Court on Saturday asked the Centre and the Delhi government to coordinate on the issue of making available medical oxygen to hospitals treating COVID-19 patients, observing that citizens cannot be left to die.

The AAP said the court has 'curtailed the attempt' by the Centre to wish away its responsibility from arranging oxygen tankers for Delhi.

'The Delhi government has also stated (in court) that the root cause of this issue (oxygen crisis) was that in the revised allocation plan devised by the central government, for the first time ever, 102 metric tonnes of oxygen supply for Delhi has been allocated to plants far away in Odisha and West Bengal, more than 1,000 kms away,' the statement said.

The AAP claimed this was done without the Centre making any corresponding arrangement for tankers to supply oxygen or any consultative process with the city government.

The Delhi government also submitted that as on date, there is a vast shortage of cryogenic tankers across the country and the Centre is best placed to allocate adequate capacity to each state or if required import more tankers.

'Besides, 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,' the AAP statement added.

Several hospitals in the national capital continued to grapple with severe shortage of medical oxygen on Saturday even after receiving emergency supplies with the help of the Delhi government and the Delhi Police.

While some hospitals have managed to make short-term arrangements, there is no immediate end to the crisis in sight.

At least two private hospitals in Delhi -- Saroj Super Speciality Hospital in Rohini and Batra Hospital in Tughlakabad Institutional Area -- asked the families of patients to shift them to other healthcare facilities in view of oxygen shortage on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sent an SOS to his counterparts in other states seeking their help in boosting medical oxygen supply in the national capital.

PTI BUN SRY